Got myself a little half-ass grow box thrown together and want to share what I’ve got going on in it. The box is tall enough to do the full cycle if I add another couple lights or a new light altogether. I'm totally not set up completely to start a crop, but I can make it work, so figure what the hell.
I've got 2 White Widow, 2 Diesel Moonshine - freebies from Seedsmans order. One mystery bag seed and three crosses of BC Mango X BC Night Nurse (Accident a relative had) I've been sleeping for several years, but once I can get this dialed in over the next several months/3-20 grows I'd like to pop some other seeds I've got that I don't want to jeopardize just yet.
If anyone sees something, knows something or just wants to fire off a sarcastic remark, let em fly. All are welcome.
So here’s what I have going on in my lil veg tent. I’m calling it the ARENA.
Room/Tent set up:
Climate zone: 33° N, 117° W
Time of Year: Late-Summer (Mid-August plant date)
Type of Grow: Indoor
Seed/Clone: Seed. Then clones from love affairs
(16” deep x 48” wide x 45.5” tall)
Frame is made with two old wooden artist canvases for the top and bottom. 2x2’s for supports between them. Entire thing is wrapped twice with the heaviest tarp I could find. Bottom of one canvas that acts as the floor of the box is covered in linoleum in a tray fashion. Interior is covered in white vinyl sticker. Since the lights are on 24/7 the front opening is loosely covered with a black tarp, but mostly open since it isn't completely secure.
Light: 2 single t5(germ/veg/clone)
Air Flow: 2 4” 15 watt fans.
Pot Size: 32ounce Yogurt containers with holes in the bottom
Medium: Laundry list of stuff (Mix should be below)
Nutrients: Come from soil and compost tea
Pruning: Low Stress Training (LST). Will top if it looks like it will need it. Most of the time I top.
C02: Voice activated (Awesome singing voice. NOT!))
Pest Control: Nothing yet. There are amendments in the soil that should help, but if need neem oil through a fine mister and this product called Annihilation. I'll ask at the grow store, since it's new, but worked really well on the aphids in both my garden and the family one.
FLOWER: (This isn't ready, but it's where it's at)
(34” deep x 54” wide x 75” tall) Larger gray box next to the other in the photo above.
This can eventually be used for Veg room but I might just dismantle it and build three walls and use the rafters with plywood for the ceiling. New improved size (16’ deep x 16’ wide x 7’ tall).
The frame is made using PVC pipe and connectors. The three piece elbow connectors were hard to find at home depot, but are easy to use. The entire thing is just put together with pressure, no glue, then completely covered again by two of the heaviest and thickest tarps I was able to find. The door is a smaller tarp folded in half which will be velcro’d down the sides, top and bottom then split in half with an attachable zipper dividing it from the center. This makes it easy to get into the entire grow if needed.
Light: 2 or 4 600w HPS or LEDs. Some good info floating around on LEDs here on OG.
Air Flow: Probably a 12" for intake and 16-18" for exhaust
Pot Size: Wife is making square fabric pots. Right now they measure 11" square bottom and 13" in height, so probably 3 gallons finished. I'll post some photos once we have one with soil it. We might also make them a bit smaller or slightly larger to accommodate the space better.
Medium: Will use a super mix that's cooking for the last month already.
Nutrients: Compost tea and eventually some FFJ.
Pruning: None yet.
C02: None until upgrade
Pest Control: what ever is necessary
Compost Tea set up:
30 gallon plastic trash can (the gray kind with two handles) 3-5 five gallon buckets with cloth over them to let city water sit outdoors for a couple days before adding to tea brewing.
Elemental Solutions, Commercial O2 pump, 951 GPH
This depends on what my plants look like and in what phase they are growing. I usually break it into two categories Veg/Flower, but the recipes vary for each like I said. These ingredients usually come in larger bags/boxes for the grower at my scale, but will go a very long way, a couple seasons at least... if not more.
The tea is brewing 24/7. I like to call it done when it has a really rich and earthy soil smell to it. My kids and I look at the stuff under a microscope. It's crawling with things. Very fascinating. At our house we also have a vegetable garden and a portion of it growing using straw bales. These compost teas are great to add to them and then as a bonus, I’ll wrap up a handfull of composting straw in cheese cloth and hang it in the tea for a few days. Is it really a bonus? I’m not sure, but it’s fun to mess around with this stuff. My kids love it too!
Here are a couple pics of that status of what is happening and some notes since the day they were put in the RWcubes.
the four clones are from the plants outdoors. The clone closest fell over, so it didn't make it.
Here's the mom outside. She has caterpillars. She smells really good.
Here's ten days after put into cube. You can see the cup in the back. The soil line is pretty low. When I transplant I bury them deep so just the leaves are basically at the top of the container.
Then they are all happy and I can go to sleep if I want.
I try to keep a daily record of what happens and what I do. Here's what i have, however vague, as of today.
Put nine seeds into 1” rockwool cubes under two t5’s. Not sure of the bulbs, as they are from a grow that went bad several year ago and markings are gone due to storage. ( 2 - White Widow, 2 - Diesel Moonshine, 3 - (BC Mango x BC NightNurse), 2 - random bag seeds). One of the bag seeds looked really weak. We’ll see.
The rockwool cubes were dipped for about 10-15 seconds each in tap water that had been sitting out for two days. The PH of the solution was brought to 5.5. The cubes were placed a couple inches apart inside a humidity dome and placed about 12” from the light. There is also a small 4” fan that blows below the tray to help keep temps lower than 80degrees. The lights don’t emit enough heat, it’s just the way the grow is set up in the garage. The entire place gets really hot in the summer and extremely cold in the winter.
All seeds are starting to pop out of the top of the rockwool cubes with the exception of the weak bag-seed. I can see it down in the hole starting, but it’s not as vigorous as the others. Since it is starting it will definitely be given a great opportunity to show its colors.
In fact, the Diesel Moonshine from Mosca Seeds (freebies included with a seedsman order) are doing the best and pushing up first. Male or just a strain with stellar vigor? Temp/Humidity are constant at 74-79degrees and 42-50% humidity. Lights have been on 24/7 for three days. They aren’t bright by any means and the light meter used says there isn’t any light at all when held 24” away. Meter says it’s dark? Outside it works well.
Took 4 clones from the outside garden this morning and added them to humidity dome with the seedlings. It’s running at 76% humidity @ 75f. I took the clones because it dawned on me a couple days ago that this bag seed growing in the ground is looking good. Man it would be terrible if it were great smoke that the wife or I enjoyed and had no access to again. If it’s junk no problem, but with some LST and topping it has turned into a little monster of a bush and smells great and seems resistant to Powdery Mildew, Aphids and everything else that is overtaking the "family garden".
So around the middle of June, nine clones were taken from this lady and grown inside at night then moved outside during the day for a little over a month, then completely put outside in the dirt.
The mother of the clones looks great -her above- which is attributed to LST and topping. The clones had neither LST or topping, and they are stretching out like crazy. My theory is that the clones kept will grow into bushes as well indoors with LST/topping/sog… The clones are stretching a lot.
Indoor: Removed one of the clones. looks like it was too heavy and fell over, pulling the stem free from the rock wool. Three others look really good. They were taken well into flowering, so they have some work ahead of them. They are under the humidity dome and chugging along. Hope at least one of them takes, since it might be smoke worth having around for the wifey and I.
Transplanted 8 seedlings to 32oz yogurt cups. They get a good deep burying so they’re first leaves are just above the top of the container. Each one was at least 3" tall, except for the two white widow’s they were just a little shorter around 2.5" Also the second set of leaves on the widows are extremely small compared to the rest of the babies.
This is the soil mix and measurements the seedlings got put in.
290-310ounces Fox Farms Happy Frog (9 full yogurt cups)
1/2 cup Epsom Salts
small handful of dolomite
2 tablespoons Bat Guano
2 Tablespoons Fish Meal
2 tablespoons Neem Seed Meal
1/2 cup Oyster Shell
1 1/2 cup Alfalfa Meal
3 Cups Worm Castings
30% Chunk Perlite
Mix this up really well with some compost tea to wet it down slightly and get the blood flowing, then plant in it. I don’t cook it or let it sit in the sun for a month. At least not this stuff. By the time they start to use what decomposing elements are available they will be transplanted. They will grow in these until they show their third node then go into fabric pots for the win with soil that has been cooking in the sun and is ready for them.
Outdoor: Entire crop 6 total have been getting a good foliar feeding of a compost tea batch that brews 24/7. One of the plants is much further along in the race than the others and has reacted really well to it. It was in a 25 or 30 gallon pot and hurting so it got a plot of its own. Since the transplant it is really happy. I’ve also been picking off caterpillars and their eggs with a safety pin the last couple days.
Found a neat little lady bug or mealy worm that was fuzzy white on top and black on the bottom. Quick google search revealed it’s a beni!!! If leaves fall off they are collected and thrown in the waste bin. No pruning anymore, just letting nature do her thing.
Outdoor: All is well. Foliar fed this morning. It was extremely humid last night. Everything was covered in dew or damp/wet this morning.
Indoor: Seedlings look a little yellow as if they are not getting enough nitrogen, however they have all grown in height and stretched up with the second set leaves, with the exception of the widows. Clones look like they are content. Lights are about 4" from clones and 1" maybe 2" from the seedlings.
Indoor: Checked temps and misted clones a couple times.
Outdoor: Watered in compost tea then picked about 60 caterpillars from between the buds. The main budding plant is infested but not damaged yet. Get some spray tomorrow.
Indoor: Checked that nothing is burning from transplant. All of them are starting to turn a slightly darker green. No water yet, pots still weight heavy enough. Maybe in a couple days they can have a light watering with a little CT.
Outdoor: Got to the grow shop first thing this morning for some Caterpillar Killer. Probably spent a solid two hours yesterday morning, then again in the evening with my wife for another couple hours removing caterpillars by hand with safety pins. There are two different kinds that I can identify. One is the very common Cabbage Looper which turn the same green color as the leaves, making them very hard to find. It’s easier to find they by locating their poop, which is dark brown/blackish and rests on the leaves. The others are the swallow tail butterfly I believe. Here’s a link to these things. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Papilio_xuthus They are really small inside of the buds. There are holes where some of them have burrowed into the calyx’s. Headed over to the hardware store to get some bug netting. Read it’s a good remedy to completely block any bug from landing on the plants. Coffee grounds, cinnamon, neem meal, oyster shell dispersed around the perimeter to deter the crawlers.
Indoor: Temps are sitting at a constant 79 and humidity is pretty steady at 54%. Each plant is much darker and looks very happy. Added a bluetooth speaker in with the kiddos so they have some tunes while they’re all alone. The three clones that made it are looking fine. They were pretty far into flower when I took them the other day, so no roots showing, but all three are upright and fairly happy.
Took a trip up north for the day. Didn’t really spend much time with my girlfriends today.
Outdoor: Gave the girls some compost tea and picked off a couple caterpillars. Told them they all looked really beautiful and to have a great day. Hopefully the sun came out for a stint today?
Indoor: Seedlings are looking really healthy and green. This morning the temps were standard, so nothing new. The pots/yogurt containers were feeling wet enough, so I thought tomorrow would be fine to water them in the morning. Nope. Just gave them a couple ounces each to help them through the night. Temp tonight is 84F with 54% humidity. Seems like that’s been standard for the past few nights. Really need to add the ducting to the intake.
I'll edit tomorrow and add pics for these. I'm tired.
And with that. Welcome to the Arena!