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Thread: Help for new greenhouse grow

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    Help for new greenhouse grow

    Hi

    I was recently prescribed medical marijuana in Humboldt County. That means 99 plants..... with a 100 square foot canopy. Staying within the canopy restrictions are important to me. Want to do it organically in a greenhouse. This will be my first grow alone and in the "driver's seat."

    My climate
    I am in the hills, enjoying being above the fog level. Average temp through the grow season is as follows (high, low)
    April 57, 44
    May 59, 48
    June 62, 51
    July 63, 53
    August 64, 53
    Sept 64, 52
    Oct 61, 47
    Nov 58, 44

    I am going to be more concerned with venting and cooling than heat as a whole. I am at 1000 feet above sea level and the sun can cook things up here. Evenings can drop in temperature quickly though.

    My commercial metal greenhouse frame is 16' x 18', 5' knee walls and 12' peak. I am covering the top with solexx, a rigid, 3.5 mil, double walled product that is about 77% transparent and opaque for privacy. Will help with cooling a little.

    I am going to put a privacy screen (or shade fabric???) on the knee walls and then have poly curtains I can lower as needed. Any feedback on good screen or shade product?

    There will be two solar attic fans in the gable ends (one on each side) that will run whenever the sun comes up pulling in cool air from the knee walls and venting the hot out top.

    I plan on doing 15 large plants (3 rows of 5 plants, 2 1/2 feet apart, rows 3' wide with walkway in between). I am thinking of infilling around the large plants with 24 small 1 gallon plants/pots.

    Question - How big should I go with the large pots? Want the "trees" to go tall and fill the greenhouse. 10 gallon? Should I go larger than 1 gallon for the small plants. Want to create more of a sea of green with them.

    How about soil? I will just be buying organic bags from the supply store. Any feedback on the Organic Miracle Grow Soil? (If people have had success with this product I want to use it because I have a $350 credit at a big box store..... free soil). Open to using Fox Farm if it is significantly better. Any recommendations? Should I custom mix?

    Intend on hand watering and maybe adding an auto drip system.

    Any feedback is appreciated! Sorry for all the questions. It is that time of year and I am beginning to scramble around getting things done!

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Fox Farm is significantly better...any soil with time release nutes is a problem waiting to happen. Problem here is from what you describe, you're going to need a bunch of soil...and that could get pricey. Once upon a time, I think on youtube, but I may be wrong, I saw an ebb and flow setup in a greenhouse that blew my mind. Perhaps somthing like that would work out a little better. After the initial expense of the setup, all you would have to worry about would be nutes and water and a small amount of electricity. I don't, personally, have alot of experience with greenhouses, so this next issue may be mute, but the evening temps are pretty borderline. How much heat will vent out of the greenhouse at night, or do you have some supplementary heating?

    If your heart is set on soil...stay away from the MG and buy the FF.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Thanks for feedback. The greenhouse will be closed down in the evening and I will put in a few 55 gal barrels for watering and solar heat retention. Lots of people are growing outdoors here. The greenhouse will just offer a little more protection, privacy.... and maybe let me push a crop of indoor clones early in the spring too. (Next year). I may also think about using compost (horses in the yard) next spring to pull heat.

    Ebb and flow? Hydro? I am off grid and need something that is very energy efficient (like none). I don't have any experience with soil free growing. Have never seen any in a greenhouse.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    And yes.... just read the ingredients in MG Organic. Pushing the word organic in my opinion. Not interested in released nutrients that can't be controlled.

    Either going Fox Farm or mixing soil. Any feedback on mixes - 50% Peat, 25% worm castings, 25% perlite, a dash of lime....

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Your mix sounds good to me. FF may be more convenient, but its pretty pricey to use on a large scale. $22-25 per bag adds up. A local hydro shop I frequent sells a product called pro-mix, that the owner is pretty high on...no pun intended. I've never paid to much attention to it, other that to notice it is substantially cheaper than any of the FF mixes. Maybe a quick google search would unveil it's secrets...just a thought.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Gal View Post
    And yes.... just read the ingredients in MG Organic. Pushing the word organic in my opinion. Not interested in released nutrients that can't be controlled.

    Either going Fox Farm or mixing soil. Any feedback on mixes - 50% Peat, 25% worm castings, 25% perlite, a dash of lime....
    If you have a grange co-op or other farm/garden supply check with them. I found a regional organic product, Harvest Supreme, with ingredients comparable to FF Ocean Forest on sale for a little over $5 for 2 CF bags. Hard to beat that mixing it, to say nothing of the labor.

    Gardner & Bloome - Kellogg Garden Products Gallery

    Kellogg Garden Products “Helping people create beautiful landscapes and gardens” :: Location ::

    I'm in Southern Oregon and the product is made in CA and WA State.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Thanks for the info. I have been using Harvest Supreme for my vegetable garden. Cheap here - 4, 2 cubic feet bags are $20. And wow on the vegetables!

    Doesn't it have time released nutrients that could be a problem to control though? Sorry for the questions. Like I said, I haven't been the one mixing the soil, just the water, trimming, plant loving friend. Friends who are growing up here are either indoors with hydro system (like 70% of all of Humboldt residents), and the remaining 15% that grow are outdoors. They amend the soil hap-hazardly, throwing in some compost in pits in the fall. End product is reflective of the less than ideal soil.
    So with Harvest Supreme it is pretty light. No need to add any peat? Have you actually used Harvest Supreme?

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Gal View Post
    Thanks for the info. I have been using Harvest Supreme for my vegetable garden. Cheap here - 4, 2 cubic feet bags are $20. And wow on the vegetables!

    Doesn't it have time released nutrients that could be a problem to control though? Sorry for the questions. Like I said, I haven't been the one mixing the soil, just the water, trimming, plant loving friend. Friends who are growing up here are either indoors with hydro system (like 70% of all of Humboldt residents), and the remaining 15% that grow are outdoors. They amend the soil hap-hazardly, throwing in some compost in pits in the fall. End product is reflective of the less than ideal soil.
    So with Harvest Supreme it is pretty light. No need to add any peat? Have you actually used Harvest Supreme?
    This is my first year with Harvest Supreme. I used FF Ocean Forest last year and before that always mixed my own soil. I honestly didn't have any yield difference between FF and mixing my own soil (I always add nutes for vegging and flowering anyway) but I'm reaching an age where amending soil from scratch is just bending over and mixing too many wheelbarrow loads at a stretch. I grow outside (germinate and use lamps inside with daily outdoor conditioning for the first month) using 3' deep holes and keep looking for easier yet still efficient methods to produce acceptable yields. Those bags look wonderful to me when compared to mixing it from scratch.

    Haven't been to Humboldt in many years but would think outside growers would have a tough time of it with the low temps and fog.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Humboldt was and still is one of the outdoor growing mecca's in the US. The areas that still are growing 10 foot trees outdoors are higher in elevation, above the fog. Southern Humboldt near Garberville is even hotter, they are plantation style planting entire mountains. It is obscene!

    I may be adding a propane heater to the greenhouse to keep temperatures up and add CO2 in the evenings.

    If you are amending soil in pits anyway and privacy is not an issue raise them up, put them in big containers.... My friend has a bad back. His garden is all counter height. Means a little stretching and a stool sometimes, but no more bending over.

    Does Harvest Supreme have any different ingredients than FF Ocean?

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Gal View Post
    Humboldt was and still is one of the outdoor growing mecca's in the US. The areas that still are growing 10 foot trees outdoors are higher in elevation, above the fog. Southern Humboldt near Garberville is even hotter, they are plantation style planting entire mountains. It is obscene!

    I may be adding a propane heater to the greenhouse to keep temperatures up and add CO2 in the evenings.

    If you are amending soil in pits anyway and privacy is not an issue raise them up, put them in big containers.... My friend has a bad back. His garden is all counter height. Means a little stretching and a stool sometimes, but no more bending over.
    I'll stick to in-ground. We had one grower try buried 55-gallon drums and his yields didn't come close to in-ground plants.

    Does Harvest Supreme have any different ingredients than FF Ocean?
    Chicken manure. It doesn't have the seafood components FF does but I've always used fish emulsion as a veg nute.

    Gardner & Bloome - Kellogg Garden Products Gallery

    Out of curiosity I've purchased some of the cheapo 'organic' soil amendments offerings from supermarkets, etc. and they're all over the board. One actually had clay in it, most are roots, bark and peat.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    I have been leaning towards pots because I can control the soil easier than planting in the ground. I am limited by the ceiling of the greenhouse 10-12 feet. I read that 1 foot per gallon? Thinking of 10 gallon pots (even though the pots are above the ground and will be pushing the limits of the ceiling height (hopefully).

    Any strong selling points for amending soil and putting them in the ground in the greenhouse? I can still get the mini excavator to the greenhouse pad and dig large trenches and mix in Foxfarm (of which I am sold on after talking to a few people). I am going to mix in a good amount of peat or coco, probably 30% or so.

    Any help is appreciated. I am going to have to commit pretty soon to whatever I go with.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Quote Originally Posted by Green Gal View Post
    I have been leaning towards pots because I can control the soil easier than planting in the ground. I am limited by the ceiling of the greenhouse 10-12 feet. I read that 1 foot per gallon? Thinking of 10 gallon pots (even though the pots are above the ground and will be pushing the limits of the ceiling height (hopefully).

    Any strong selling points for amending soil and putting them in the ground in the greenhouse? I can still get the mini excavator to the greenhouse pad and dig large trenches and mix in Foxfarm (of which I am sold on after talking to a few people). I am going to mix in a good amount of peat or coco, probably 30% or so.

    Any help is appreciated. I am going to have to commit pretty soon to whatever I go with.
    Sounds like you've made the major decisions and can move forward. The only other comment I have is, if you don't already use one for your garden, the value of a good digital pH meter and using it correctly.

    On a side note, I've transplanted three ladies into native soil (dug up, rocks removed, mixed with organic cow manure 3' down) and will grow them alongside the others which are in amended soil. I use fish emulsion as a veg nute.

    Other growers here produce some incredible weed and yields with that soil mixture and I can't help being curious about whether I've gotten caught up in a consumer mentality on the soil issue. They are....weeds.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    I think I would go with five gallon pots, place them on the ground with the ground broken up some. If your roots need more room, they will grow out the drain holes directly into the ground. Same principle as the two pot method.

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Thanks for the feedback!
    I am going to do some experments with containers and soil mixes.

    I plan on doing about half in 10 gallons, some in 5 gallons, and a few right into the ground in pits.

    Will be experimenting with:
    80% FFOC and 20% perlite
    40% FFOC, 40% Kelloggs Patio Soil, 20% perlite
    80% Kelloggs, 20% perlite
    I will be adding worm casting and dolmite lime to all mixes. Debating on using coco instead of perlite.... Any thoughts or feedback? I am not sure about the coco fiber salts and dealing with any PH issues. I want a nice, simple, organic mix that yeilds well and is low maintenance.

    Interested to see how end product and yield is affected by the variables! Will of course be tracking with a digital PH meter, hydrometer, thermometer, and soil testing kits through the season.

    On side note:
    I just scored 2 - 16" dc (direct current) exhaust fans that move 3000 cfm. My greenhouse is only about 2400 cf. I really could get away with one, but found them new on ebay for only $35 each after shipping! They are $200 units. I am putting them in the gable ends of the greenhouse in front of poly shutter that opens automatically when fans are on. The fans will be hooked directly to a thermostat, and the thermo to the solar panels. The fans will turn on when the sun is out and temperatures are hot enough. I may stick in a deep cycle marine battery or two (cheap), so I can run them at night if needed. (Degree in Alternative Energy is actually doing something for me).

    My fans combined with the 5' sidewalls, that are going to be poly curtains, and a privacy/shade curtain (40% shade) that goes down when the curtains go up is going to work well I think.

    Decided on framing and insulating north end for shelves and 55 gallon water tank storage (for passive heating and cooling).

    With almost all the pieces of the puzzle together I am ready to let the fun begin!

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    Re: Help for new greenhouse grow

    Use 45 gallon grow bags you can easily pull 2 lbs. each plant. And a good organic soil readily available in our area is RootsOrganic it is awesome soil, I would stay away from MG products for what we are growing. There are plenty of organic soils that are designed for our product.
    There is a great growbag on the market that i am currently using called Smartpots you can look them up at there site Container Gardening, Hydroponic Gardening with Smart Pots Fabric Containers. They are great using a 45 gallon smartpot is like using a 85 gallon container because of the design, it's made out of a fabric which allows the roots to poke through instead of circling inside which allows your plant to grow really big.
    I would not use 5 gallon buckets you will pull a small yield, Remember the bigger the container/growbag the bigger the plant will get, the bigger the yield will be.
    If you can't afford the rootsorganic soil i would use Foxfarm ocean forest i just purchased 2 pallets ( 63 bags per pallet ) at my buddies hydro store he gave me a good deal $ 580 per pallet, but right now most stores ( especially in humbolt ) are giving great deals on soil by the pallet you could get ff for probably $630 per pallet at most stores. It is a good cheap soil and does the job.

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