First time grower's indoor journal - welcome all comments

visper

Member
Hello all. I've been documenting my grow with some basic notes and photos and thought I'd create a grow journal to go along with it. My plan is to share my entire journey so far over a few posts.

I switched to a 12/12 light schedule on 2022-05-16 making today day 9 since switching. Unfortunately, we lost power twice during the last week for a few hours so it's possible their schedule messed up.

I'm currently running 3 strains from ILGM and have a few clones I took from topping. I was originally going to keep the clones in a smaller tent to veg while the main plants flowered but that didn't work out.

Strains: Blue Dream, Blue Cheese, Blue Haze

Tent: DIY 5x6x6 (will be posted about shortly)
Light: MedicGrow Smart 8
Nutrition: PerfectSunLed Perfect Nutrients
Vent fan: 6" AC Infinity
Air movement fans: Lasko pedestal fan and Honeywell HT-900
Other: Dehumidifier (in use) and humidifier (not in use anymore)

From the doorway of the tent.
Front left is Blue Cheese, back right is Blue Dream, back left is Blue Haze, and front right is 8 clones.
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The clones I was not planning for most of them surviving so I only had pots to transplant 4 of them. I'll leave the other 4 in their small nursery bags and see how it goes.

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visper

Member
Grow Tent build:
I recently bought an old farmhouse in a place I've never been before to so I had no idea what to expect for growing and weather conditions. I moved cross country in the middle of winter so I also had no idea what to expect for temperatures and humidity.

The only available place with power and privacy is the basement, so that is where I decided to set up my new grow area.

Unfortunately, the basement had a few limitations due to the age of the house. The ceiling is low and there is constant moisture seeping in. My thought was that it is very possible that it might get worse throughout the year, depending on what causes the moisture.

This is where the tent will be:first-grow-20220227-9817.jpg

However, I wanted a large tent so I wouldn't have to expand more later. I could start other plants and possibly grow some fruit/veggies year round with the cannabis.

I was targeting a 4x4 grow tent, but after some research, I found that there weren't any tents I though could fit in low basement. While there are some that are 6 feet, I wanted one slightly shorter than that. Because my basement is unheated and drafty, I needed the tent to sit on top of a platform with an insulated floor.

Building one seemed to be the way forward for me.

I wanted to do a solid wood and plywood box but wood prices were (still are) insane for that. I priced it out at a few hundred in just material. Instead, I opted for using PVC for a frame with some mylar diamond film. It's a bit ghetto but it works.

I reused some old PVC pipe that was previously a huge trellis for growing luffas for the frame of the tent. I dry fit the basic size together and drew out potential layouts. Then I washed all of the pipes before cutting everything down with a hack saw and dull PVC pipe cutter.

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For the floor, I took some old plywood scraps and fit them together to cover the dimensions of the frame. I laid some pressure treated 2x4s on the concrete floor and spaced them evenly. I lined everything up the best I could and screwed the plywood to the 2x4s. The floor itself was a bit springy on the one section so I added an additional 2x4 to make sure it doesn't break when walking on it.

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On top of that, I laid some 1/2 inch foam insulation board. They were also scraps because I had some. I pulled the foam off to assemble the tent.

The frame is unevenly sized because I was using scrap PVC so was limited by what I already had. I smacked everything together with a rubber mallet and chose not to glue the PVC because I wanted to pull it down easily if needed.

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After that, it was time to hang the light and vent fan nd make sure everything looked okay.

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Building the mylar tent was a lot of hassle. I calculated the length I would need to cover the sides and top with film and worked out the best way to do it. Turns out, I needed to tape a section together lengthwise and then feed it around the sides of the frame. It was unfortunately windy and wet outside so I couldn't lay it out there. I had to do it in sections in my kitchen. It's not as even as I'd like, but it worked fine.

The top of the grow tent took a lot of jerryrigging to get working, but it turned out okay. Since there was no access to the top of the tent, I just taped the hell out of it as best I could.

Before taping it, I cut holes for the light and fan mounting wires and cables.

The film was tedious to do and I just wanted to be done so I didn't take any photos of that part of the assembly.

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For the tent door, I used sticky velcro and ran it along the entire length of the door.

Finally, I mounted the vent fan to the ceiling and cut a hole for the exhaust vent hose to run through and another for the intake.

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The intake will eventually have something over it and I will most likely add a carbon filter.

The tent was finished on 2022-03-08.
 
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visper

Member
I was having some temperature issues so added an oil filled radiant heater to the tent. Over night temps outside were below freezing and the basement was in the 50s.

On 2022-04-01 I transplanted the jiffy pots into nursery bags. They were looking pretty healthy.
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The roots started poking through the nursery bag on 2022-04-05 so I transplanted them into 1 gallon fabric pots. I mixed up more of the same coco/perlite mix and watered the soil to help reduce transplant shock.

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I cut along the outside of the nursery pot to make transplanting easier.

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visper

Member
I watered them twice a day with a diluted nutrient mix. My goal was to give them enough to help them grow but not to cause run off. I wanted to avoid salt buildup.

I ran into a few temperature and humidity issues but nothing major.

I decided to mainline the plants. I didn't get to them as soon as I wanted, due to some other homestead stuff to take care of.

On 2022-04-18 I decided it was time to top them. I topped them down to just below the 4th node.

Here they are before topping.
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Here they are the next day after topping.
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I also decided to try cloning the plants I topped. I used rooting gel with a hormone powder then put them in jiffy pots. I used a small tote with a clear plastic and plastic wrap to keep the humidity in. You can see the tote on the floor of the grow tent.

The plants were doing great the next day, so I decided to transplant them to their final 7 gallon fabric pots.

Here they are on 2022-04-20.

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Blue Haze:
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Blue Cheese:
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Blue Dream:
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visper

Member
I did the final topping for the mainlines on 2022-04-26. I had my environment pretty dialed in and everything looked pretty good. I was running my lights at 40% power and about 20 inches above the canopy.

Here are the three plants.
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We had 45 chicks and 5 ducklings arrive the first week of May. They got set up in the basement so the humidity and temperature got wonky again from running heat lamps 24/7. The weather also started to change so everything went up in the air environment wise. I eventually got it dialed back in, but it took longer than I had originally planned.

I didn't do any training or defoliating until the day after switching to 12/12. I did rearrange the plants a few times. The haze grew taller so it stayed on the ground, but the other two I moved onto small totes to keep the canopy even.

Two days before switching to 12/12 lighting, I turned the light power up to 80% and raised the lights up a few inches.

On 2022-05-17 I did a mix of removing lower leaves, LST, and some supercropping. My goal is to keep the canopy from stretching too high during the flower stretch. Since I am a first timer, I have no idea how tall to actually expect them to get. I have lots of extra vertical room but am very limited on height. I'll also be removing big fan leaves throughout flower instead of during veg. The plants got really bushy and I didn't want to stress them out.

Tent shot before:
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After:
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visper

Member
On 2022-05-18, I removed a few more leaves and switched the nutrients to a different ratio for bloom. The 3 main plants I fed the new bloom mix while the clones I kept feeding with the veg mix.

The plants looked like they were recovering well. I did have to repair a few splits from trying to LST with a bad angle. I have some update photos showing them on another day. Most of the damage was done to the Blue Dream.

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2022-05-20:
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2022-05-21 - They are starting to stretch pretty good (at least as far as I can tell)

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Stems for each of the plants:

Blue Cheese:
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Blue Haze:
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Blue Dream:
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visper

Member
2022-05-22 The stem of the Blue Dream split. I tied it together with wire and will hope it recovers. No photos.

2022-05-24 The plants are still stretching.
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I went through each plant and clone and removed another big chunk of leaves of all of the plants and added/moved around my LST wires. I did some more supercropping, but mostly LST.

Blue cheese: I rigged up some wires to spread branches out of the center a bit. There was also a bit of discoloration/spotting on some older leaves.
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Blue Haze: This one I adjusted some of the LST wires just supercropped. There were also some janky looking leaves. I think they got damaged from rough handling but could be wrong.
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Blue Dream: I did some supercropping of the tops. I let it go a bit more because I had messed up some LST training a few days prior which split the stem badly. Some of the earlier damage is healing and I will remove the grafting tape soon.
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After training tent view:
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2022-05-25 That catches me up to the my first post. They seemed to be doing okay.

There have definitely been a bunch of errors on my part, but that is to be expected since it is my first grow. I'm excited to see how they turn out.
 

visper

Member
2022-05-29 All of the plants are looking pretty healthy.
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I spent some time going through all of the plants and touching up their training and removing leaves.

The clones were getting some yellow leaves. I adjusted the nutrition up slightly for them.
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I also went through and removed all of the grafting tape.
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The blue dream I accidentally snapped most of a stem off when I was supercropping it. I taped it up and propped it up with wire and will hope for the best.

Post training:
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2022-05-30 The plants were mostly okay. Some of the clones were still yellowing. I decided to wait and see how they look in a few days.
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The Blue Dream's broken top looks to be healing.
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2022-05-31 A few update photos but nothing much to speak of. I didn't have time to do more leaf cleanup today. I will spend some time tomorrow cleaning them up. There is a lot of bushiness still remaining.
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visper

Member
That catches us up to today. 16 days since switching to 12/12.

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I pulled everything out of the tent and spent time cleaning up leaves and moving some of the LST wires. I did a tiny bit of supercropping. I also rearranged the layout and taped over the led indicator on the dehumidifier. Just in case.

The pots were all a bit lighter than normal this morning so it looks like they are using up more water. I am increasing the amount I am giving them to make sure they get enough water throughout the day. I am keeping the same ratio of nutrition to water so they will get more of everything, but not overkill. Hopefully.

My eventual goal is to work on an auto watering system at some point, but a first grow isn't really the time for it.

Clones:
I removed most of the yellow leaves from the clones and increased the nutrition again. I also put two of them that were taller on small containers to help them be the same height as everything else.
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Blue Cheese:
I removed a few leaves that were blocking some of the bud sites. I'm not sure how aggressive to be with this. This plant is looking pretty healthy otherwise.
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Blue Dream:
The broken stem seems to be healing pretty well. This plant is super bushy so I spent more time trimming out leaves to expose bud sites. I think I removed another 30 leaves from it and it is still bushy.
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Blue Haze:
I didn't need to do much with this one. The leaves are already much thinner.
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Tent:
I rearranged where everything was in order to even out the airflow. My pedestal fan is now higher and blowing over the top of the canopy on a medium speed. I will need to monitor to make sure I don't get wind burn.

I have a bunch of black house flies that are in my grow tent so will be making a diy trap for now. I'll plan to hang some fly paper and add traps in the basement itself as well.

Post cleanup:
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Blue Cheese flower:
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visper

Member
My dehumidifier pump threw and error this morning so hadn't pumped out any of the reservoir last night. Humidity was way high.

I'll be removing more leaves tomorrow to clear out the Blue Dream's canopy a bit. The other ones look mostly okay, but I'll check them all tomorrow.

I am going to stop training for now and see how they do. My understanding is that most strains stretch during the first 2 or 3 weeks but then slow down and start growing out the bud. I have about 20 inches of vertical space above the lights that I can go yet.

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visper

Member
Today marks 18 days since flipping the lights to 12/12. The plants are still stretching and I am hopefully not going to be training them anymore.
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I spent time looking over each plant and cleaning up unhealthy looking leaves, exposing bud sites, and helping with air flow. I also removed all of the training wires. The canopy for each plant seems mostly even but the Blue Dream is now a little higher than the others. I'll probably look for something else to put it on that lowers it down.

The Blue Dream was ridiculously bushy still. I removed a large pile of leaves off of that one. Unfortunately, the snapped top was not looking great so I just removed it completely. I thought it would be better to handle any stress from removing the rest of the top now versus having it break further into flower.
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All of the leaves in the pile are from that single plant.

Removing the wires squished some of the leaves together so I ended up removing some extras from the other plants as well.

The clones are all looking a lot better after some increased nutrients. I removed all of the unhealthy looking leaves from them as well.

I also removed the chicks and ducks from the basement today so hopefully that helps lower the temperature and humidity.

Post cleanup:
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visper

Member
2022-06-04 marked one of the clones and started treating the bottom half of the plant with colloidal silver. I know it is a bit later into flower, but my hope is to produce some pollen for try with my next grow. If it produces, I'll plan to strip them out and freeze the pollen.
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Today the clones are showing some more nutrition deficiencies. The main plants are also showing some yellow in their leaves. I'm increasing the EC of my mix again. The new feed is .8 EC (well water is .1 EC) so .7 is from nutrients and 6 PH.
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visper

Member
Today is day 24 since switching. The new nutrient ratio seems to be working. I will plan to give them that with every watering and except once a week use just PH adjusted water.

I removed some of the old yellowed leaves and cleared out some more that grew over bud sites. I'll have to do another bigger leaf removal but want to wait until the weekend.
 

visper

Member
Everything turned suddenly very bushy so I made some time to remove more leaves today.

I tried to expose as many bud sites as possible while keeping a good bit of leaves to keep the plant healthy.

They are also starting to smell strongly while I was removing leaves. I ordered a carbon filter to run during the rest of flower. That will arrive on Monday.

Before:
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After:
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Blue Cheese:
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Blue Dream:
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Blue Haze:
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Random Closeup:
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visper

Member
I replaced all of my water heater drip pans with a single cheap tarp. While I was occasionally getting run off from the big plans, it wasn't enough vs the run off from the clones that are in there. The water was leaking onto my plywood floor so would eventually rot.

I also removed a bunch more fan leaves and a few sugar leaves that were blocking other stuff.

Today I found that some of the leaves were curling up. It looks like heat damage. The tent was running at 81F so I just raised up the light a few inches and set the dehumidifier to 60 instead of 55.
 

visper

Member
The power flashed off last night which reset the timer on the smart fold grow light. I had originally gotten the smart fold thinking the built in digital timer would be a boon, but it turns out it is a very basic timer that is just a countdown based on when you turn the knob. If you set it to 12 hours, it counts down 12 hours from that moment for lights on. You can't set actual times or anything.

Hopefully the shortened night cycle doesn't mess them up too bad. I'll have to keep an extra eye out for any hermaphroditic behavior.

I didn't have time to look over anything beyond a light water this morning, but I will need to find some time to do some tent work.
  • I will be running the light off a simple but old brinks outlet timer that I used to use for my coffee pot when I commuted.
  • I will be hooking up the carbon filter today (most likely outside the tent) then adjusting my fan again to keep the air flowing. My air exchange is a bit different because I don't want to suck in extra humid air from the basement into the tent so run at a very low setting.

Today I am 31 days into the 12/12 cycle. This is technically more than halfway to harvest on one of the plants. I expect it will go beyond that date, I'll have to keep an eye out on it. My understanding is that the breeder dates tend to vary.
  • Blue Cheese: 8 weeks - 56 days - Could be done anytime after 2022-07-11
  • Blue Dream: 9 weeks - 63 days - Could be done anytime after 2022-07-18
  • Blue Haze: 10 weeks - 70 days - Could be done anytime after 2022-07-25
This Saturday will mark 2 weeks after starting to treat the one Blue Haze clone with colloidal silver. I haven't seen any signs of pollen sacs growing, but it is supposed to take a few weeks of treatment. I'm hoping to get some pollen to save for next grow.

I still have to plan out how I am dealing with drying as the plants will be staggered so I can't set up the grow tent for it. I'll most likely have to a second tent for it as humidity control will be tricky. My basement has been 62 to 68 degrees but 60 to 70% humidity. There is a constant damp due to water seepage from being a really old house. I originally tried running the dehumidifier downstairs but didn't think it worth the money to run 24/7 on turbo.
 

visper

Member
Had a big humidity spike in the basement. 67F and 80%RH. Depending on the weather, I may just try hanging it in a closet with a fan and see how it does. But July will most likely be a good deal warmer.

My other thought is that I could get some Calcium Chloride (damp rid) and putting that in the bottom of a large refrigerator sized box or tarped off section of the basement. That stuff will try to suck the damp out way more than I want (30% RH), but I want to try something to lower the ambient humidity without raising the temperature a lot.

There are some other salts that I can purchase that will target different RH (IE 55ish) but I am concerned that that might not actually suck up water fast enough to lower the humidity for drying. Calcium Chloride is available from a big box store locally so I'll plan to pick some up and try out my plan.

I also am getting some potassium citrate to try making my own boveda 62% packs.
 

visper

Member
Here's a photo I took of the leaf trouble I was seeing. This was from 2 days ago.
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After doing a bunch of reading, I think it is heat related. The affected leaves are both above and below the canopy so I don't think it is too much light.

This morning I turned the dehumidifier back to 55 and the temp in the tent spiked up to 87 partway through the day. I set the controller back to exhaust air at 85 as well as being on lightly 24/7. I'll see how that goes. I also turned the dehumidifier back up to 60 for now.

I will plan to get a hygrometer that records data to put inside the tent and see how that goes. Then I can see the flow a bit better.

I did a bit of reading on VPD for led lights and think I may just try to target 83F and 60% RH for now. I had been targeting a higher humidity for veg and most of flower but wanted to try turning it down to ensure I don't get mold. I may end up just trying to finish with the higher temp/RH.

I will plan to turn the dehumidifier down tonight before lights off so it can drop the RH down and see how it goes tomorrow.
 

visper

Member
We had a cool spell over the weekend so I bumped by dehumidifier down to 45% RH. The temps were staying around 76 to 78, but the basement temp dropped down to around 60 so that affected everything I'm sure.

I got my bluetooth hygrometers on Monday so set them up in the tent and basement and have been keeping an eye on the the chart. I increased the fan speed to 3 up from 2 to increase the airflow and constantly remove a bit more air.

I haven't hung my filter yet, but expect to find some time this week. I've been super busy with other real life stuff.

The lower humidity has been drying things out a lot more so I may have to adjust my watering again. I've been doing a single water for the main plants, 2 for the clones to make sure they have enough water for lights out. I'm watering with .8 EC water still and doing 3 days of feed then 1 plain water.

I ended up putting the smallest clones over a tray to catch runoff because I haven't found the perfect balance yet. Then I just sop up the small bits of water with a towel when I check on them later.
 
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