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Prospector

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I am disabled and received my MMC a few months ago. Since I rent and have a case manager and others that stop by, I need to be able to move my project into the (Cold) garage, since it's January, for short periods.

I have finally found a use for some of the Stuff (junk) that I have been buying on clearance, saving for a rainy day, etc. I started with an old cheap 3 shelve serving cart with my project on top and other accesories below. This is a low power florescent gro in a very confined area, as well as my first gro. I supplement the flourescents with a battery charger powered set of pressurized Halogen 12 volt bulb replacements for headlights. One is in a trouble-light reflector, that I polished and converted so that it can easily be positioned where needed.

Because of my circumstances, I have had to train my plants to gro within an area of about 24" by 16.5". I also use old Dole banana boxes slowly stacked on top of each other, as needed for increasing height.

The plants are held with string into their necessary shape to fit within these confines. Once they have been trained into their unnatural shapes, I can then remove the string.

I have also made use of my battery charger to power a 12 volt RV air pump to airiate the water just before watering with my 12 volt RV diaphragm pump which sits on top of one of the 2 new plastic minnow buckets that were also on clearance. During my maniac shopping spree at Wally World when they had built a new store and were almost giving away many items, I also picked up a waterbed heater which I use to keep the plants temperature from going much below 70 degrees, which is it's lowest setting. I dont dare set it higher for fear that I might cook them.

I have some pics that I can provide in my next post if there is some interest in my gro. I also have some macro photos of some black flying bugs that I would like to identify but they are a little blurry. They are the size of a pin head and have opaque wings. I don't want to use poison for obvious reasons. I do have Diazanon granules but again am very wary.

Also, what are the little pods on the female plants that are pointed on the end? I can provide a photo of these also.
I welcome all questions and assistance, and offer my thanks in advance.

Forgive the spelling mistakes, my spell checker is not working in Firefox9 and I don't see one here.:holysheep:
 

PuffinNugs

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Prospector said:
I have some pics that I can provide in my next post if there is some interest in my gro. I also have some macro photos of some black flying bugs that I would like to identify but they are a little blurry. They are the size of a pin head and have opaque wings. I don't want to use poison for obvious reasons. I do have Diazanon granules but again am very wary.
sounds like gnats to me, sticky traps and diatomaceous earth will get them under control with no poisons
 

Prospector

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Thank you for the help. I knew that I needed some of the D. E. but had forgotten why.
 

Grower13

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Post some pics of your setup and grow...... give us some new micro grow ideas...... there is a thread in general indoor growing with micro grows you might like to check out.

BTW......:welcome:
 

Hushpuppy

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Welcome to the club :) Those little bugs definitely sound like fungus gnats to me. Not the worst things to have but difficult to get rid of them. I would say the DE is best if you are in soil. As for the "little pods" on the female plants, if they are in the corners of branch nodes at the main stem then those are preflowers that occur when the plant has reached maturity. :)

I would get rid of the halogen lights as they produce a lot of heat but little light in the correct spectrum for the plants to use. If you have the room for them, T5HO flourescent bulbs(in the 6500Kelvin spectrum) are the best for vegging plants under. :)
 

ruufuus

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Hushpuppy said:
Welcome to the club :) Those little bugs definitely sound like fungus gnats to me. Not the worst things to have but difficult to get rid of them. I would say the DE is best if you are in soil. As for the "little pods" on the female plants, if they are in the corners of branch nodes at the main stem then those are preflowers that occur when the plant has reached maturity. :)
:)
i have very small pod like things forming as well, and am afraid they are male flowers, but at the same time they kinda look like the little pods the pistils stick out of. is there hope that they are fem?
 
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If the plant is sexed and growing, the little pod things may well be male flowers. Did you use bag seed? Hermies are common when using bagseed. Plants that get pollinated can lose 75% or so of their weight to seeds (which are worthless). We need a picture to be sure.

The halogen light is worthless and may even be detrimental. Get rid of it. I am guessing that if you are using CFLs you are probably underlit. How many, what wattage, what spectrum, and how many lumens are you using? It is a folly to try and cheat on lighting. You NEED 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging and 5000 lumens per sq ft for vegging. Your lighting directly affects your yield. It is going to take 4 months or so to get these to harvest. It is a shame to end up with 7-8 grams after that much time and work when $50-100 spent on lighting will give you ounces.

Do you have any kind of ventilation system set up? Your plants need a continual supply of fresh air all the time the lights are on for proper photosynthesis.

We would love to see pics of your setup.
 

Prospector

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I'll try to answer or respond to all the previous posts here.

First I agree that the halogen bulbs are hot and have contributed to leaf damage since It is such a small enclosure. I have vent openings at the bottom as well as the top for circulation and try to control the temp at the top of the cardboard box.

Next, I started with 24" "gro lights" from Wally World, with what appears to be a cool white type bulb, although the replacement "gro" bulbs" have a bluish tint and contain mercury, perhaps they are the MH variety. I also have an 18" with a standard bulb. I only use CFL bulbs for household lighting. I used the halogen to add the extra lumens needed. I changed the lighting from 24 hours on to 12/12 when the first two plants reached about 16" height and started to train them to stay within the box structure. I wanted to throw them into flowering stage as soon as possible to keep them from getting too large. The smallest plant was about 10" at that time.I also removed 4 males and later found a hermaphrodyte that had two flowers that had opened before I could remove it. I have now 7 plants growing in prune juice containers. This should give you an idea of how old I am.

With the 18" bulb(15 watts), I have 3 -24" gro lights that are listed at 17 watts and put out the equivilent of a 75 watt normal bulb. I have a 38 watt portable florescent work light crammed into the box structure as well. I do not know the actual lumens but have as much light as possible within the gro area of about 2.5 square feet and is currently 25" tall.

As far as the pics go, I will add some to my next post, I will need to re-size (crop) some before I can upload them.

Strange Pods#2.jpg
 

orangesunshine

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hats off to you prospector---welcome aboard---you are in great hands---would be nice if THG made house calls lol---always makes me smile to hear about another new set up---green mojo to you man
 

Prospector

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Thank you all for the warm welcome.I will try to now upload pics of the setup-in-progress. Oops, the file size is still too large so cropping I will go, and return with the pics next post.

I also wanted to add that when this gro gets too large for the current environment, then I have a second setup that I have planned. Have you ever eaten hospital food? If so then you remember the device that slid under the bed with a tray holder on top to hold your food. I obtained a very similar device but it was apparently used in an art department with a portion of it that opens into a slanted board for painting or drawing. It has paint spilled on it as a clue of its prior use. This has a hand crank to raise or lower the top, which I will hang lights from and then can simply crank up the lighting as needed. I will split up my gro between these two portable setups. I also lined the box with foil, shiny side out to make the most of my lighting.

P107005001.jpg


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P107004803.jpg
 
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Prospector said:
I'll try to answer or respond to all the previous posts here.

First I agree that the halogen bulbs are hot and have contributed to leaf damage since It is such a small enclosure. I have vent openings at the bottom as well as the top for circulation and try to control the temp at the top of the cardboard box.

Next, I started with 24" "gro lights" from Wally World, with what appears to be a cool white type bulb, although the replacement "gro" bulbs" have a bluish tint and contain mercury, perhaps they are the MH variety. I also have an 18" with a standard bulb. I only use CFL bulbs for household lighting. I used the halogen to add the extra lumens needed. I changed the lighting from 24 hours on to 12/12 when the first two plants reached about 16" height and started to train them to stay within the box structure. I wanted to throw them into flowering stage as soon as possible to keep them from getting too large. The smallest plant was about 10" at that time.I also removed 4 males and later found a hermaphrodyte that had two flowers that had opened before I could remove it. I have now 7 plants growing in prune juice containers. This should give you an idea of how old I am.

With the 18" bulb(15 watts), I have 3 -24" gro lights that are listed at 17 watts and put out the equivilent of a 75 watt normal bulb. I have a 38 watt portable florescent work light crammed into the box structure as well. I do not know the actual lumens but have as much light as possible within the gro area of about 2.5 square feet and is currently 25" tall.

As far as the pics go, I will add some to my next post, I will need to re-size (crop) some before I can upload them.
Be wary of any lights called "grow lights". Many of them are not meant to enhance growing, but are more for "showing off the plant"--kind of like accent lighting. Your lighting is your most important thing. The halogen is not the correct spectrum to grow and should be removed from your grow--it is adding nothing but heat and taking up space. You need more/better lighting. Bulbs in the 15W range are simply too small and have virtually no penetrating power. Equivalent wattage on lights means nothing for growing purposes. If you want to stay with fluoros, I would recommend T5s and if you cannot afford those, get higher wattage CFLs, otherwise you are going to end up with a very very small harvest. You need 5 or 6 42W CFLs to get you where you need to be lighting wise. It is also important to use the correct spectrum. For flowering you want something in the 2500-3000K range. Vegging takes bulbs more in the blue range--6500K or so.

All MH and HPS lights require a ballast.

What about ventilation?
 

Prospector

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I did what you said and the halogens are out, and I was planning to buy more fixtures tomorrow. Are the T5 bulbs a specialty item? I am about 60 miles from a big city so Wally World may not handle my needs. It is only 18 miles away. Are the 42 watt CFL a standard bulb or is that a specialty item?

I almost forgot about the 175 watt mercury vapor fixture that is available, is this and other bluish MH type lights detrimental for the plants while in the flowering stage? The mercury vapor has a transformer inside and is quite heavy, using it is do-able if benneficial to the flowering plants. Thank you for your very valuable advice.

About the ventilation, It is natural convection at this time and although quite warm at the top, I can raise the structure further so that the tops of the plants are in a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees F. I have a Fluke meter with a temperature probe and it is time to start using it to monitor the temperatures at variuos levels in my well insulated box.

The low wattage bulbs are necessary because my electric bill is included in my rent and we don't want to anger the landlord, or have him interfere with my project.
 

HemperFi

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If you have a MMC card aren't you allowed to grow a certain amount of plants legally? If so, why don't you just set yourself up a nice grow room? Get a T5 fixture for vedge -- get a 600w HPS for flower -- get a tent and the right ventilation, so you can be sure of 12 hours of dark time. Get some good soil and nutes, and don't waste your time. If you are serious about growing, you will do all of this eventually anyway -- because it works...


Peace
 

HemperFi

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I'm sorry if I came off harshly -- I don't mean it that way. I came in here a few months ago with a real simular mind set to yours. I thought I could toss a few seeds under a few CFLs and grow a fine ammount of weed -- I saw it on utoob. I argued and fought and finally realized these people know what they are talking about, and if I wanted to actually grow some nice bud (and stop buying it) I should stop arguing and do as I was instructed. My first crop yielded enough to pay back my investment (had I sold it) I am now putting out a small crop every couple of months, and before summer I should have enough to last until next year at this time. It is very cool to be self suffecient. I wish you all the luck in the world, my friend -- oh, and welcome to MP -- everything you need to know about growing herb can be found right here :)

HF
 

ArtVandolay

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HemperFi said:
I'm sorry if I came off harshly -- I don't mean it that way. I came in here a few months ago with a real simular mind set to yours. I thought I could toss a few seeds under a few CFLs and grow a fine ammount of weed -- I saw it on utoob. I argued and fought and finally realized these people know what they are talking about, and if I wanted to actually grow some nice bud (and stop buying it) I should stop arguing and do as I was instructed. My first crop yielded enough to pay back my investment (had I sold it) I am now putting out a small crop every couple of months, and before summer I should have enough to last until next year at this time. It is very cool to be self suffecient. I wish you all the luck in the world, my friend -- oh, and welcome to MP -- everything you need to know about growing herb can be found right here :)

HF
Hemper Fi! :D
 

Prospector

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First, for HemperFi, This being my first gro, being disabled, living on less than $700/month and generally being a cheap-skate have kept this a low budget first gro, besides, I like to take all of the stuff that I have accumulated and make something out of it! This is a test run and if it does go wrong then keep in mind that I am very close to the border and know some good connections.

Next, Art, you seem to be quite a character, from first glance. I do very much appreciate you recognizing my potential, so- to- speak. I have just briefly glanced at the other economy gros from your link and will take more time a little later.

I have another topic concerning the proper pH and how to controll it. I have very alkaline water so I just bought a Hanna pH meter and will next buy the solutions for it. Should I post this topic here or start another thread?
 
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Prospector said:
I did what you said and the halogens are out, and I was planning to buy more fixtures tomorrow. Are the T5 bulbs a specialty item? I am about 60 miles from a big city so Wally World may not handle my needs. It is only 18 miles away. Are the 42 watt CFL a standard bulb or is that a specialty item?

I almost forgot about the 175 watt mercury vapor fixture that is available, is this and other bluish MH type lights detrimental for the plants while in the flowering stage? The mercury vapor has a transformer inside and is quite heavy, using it is do-able if benneficial to the flowering plants. Thank you for your very valuable advice.

About the ventilation, It is natural convection at this time and although quite warm at the top, I can raise the structure further so that the tops of the plants are in a temperature range of 70 to 80 degrees F. I have a Fluke meter with a temperature probe and it is time to start using it to monitor the temperatures at variuos levels in my well insulated box.

The low wattage bulbs are necessary because my electric bill is included in my rent and we don't want to anger the landlord, or have him interfere with my project.
Mercury Vapor lights are not good for growing either. I do not believe that I would use any other bluish MH type lights. First, just because a bulb looks blue does not mean it is in the correct spectrum. And secondly, there are only several different types of lights that work for growing--buying anything else is simply a waste. Lights that work:

CFL: CFLs are actually the most expensive of all the lights we use to grow. Most emit approx 62 lumens per watt. Lumen for lumen, they cost more to operate every single month, run hotter, and produce less bud. Their only advantage as I see it is their availability and that you can add more lights as the plants get larger.

Fluoro Tubes: Fluorescent tubes are sold as T12s, T8s, and T5s. The T5s are the most efficient, emitting approx 92 lumens per watt. Since they are tubes, they spread the light quite evenly and work well in short spaces because of their low profile. I prefer T5s to MH for vegging. For a small space, I like the PL55 double tubes.

HPS: HPS is the most efficient of all the lights we use to grow, emitting 100-150 lumens per watt depending on wattage. They also have the best penetration.

Regardless of what light source you decide on, you are going to have to be adequately lit. Try to cut down electrical usage somewhere else if you must, but you have to have more light or you are going to have unsatisfactory results. If electrical costs are a concern, you should be running a small HPS. A 150W HPS will put out 15,000-16,000 lumens and uses a little over 150W. Six 42W CFLs put out 15,600 lumens, but consumes 252 watts. I do not make much money either and look for good buys all the time (I made a dual 150W HPS in a cool tube for $20 or 30). Those of use with less money really need to be more careful with what we buy so we do not end up with stuff that we cannot use. I have been growing so long that I do have a store of equipment I no longer use (or never because it was not well thought out).

You are also going to need ventilation. Your plants require a continual supply of FRESH air all the time the lights are on. This means that you have some kind of exhaust fan for your space--out with the old co2 depleted air and in with fresh air. A space the size of yours with 15,000 lumens may be able to be cooled with a 4" or so computer fan.

We can deal with your pH questions in this thread. What is your water source and how high is the pH?
 

Prospector

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Dear Hemp Goddess,
Thank you for all of your time and effort in getting me on the correct path.

I just bought the meter and am basing my opinion on the scale build-up around my faucets from the well water that I use. During the cleaning process with vinegar, as well as past experience, the calcium to lime ratio is about 5 to one, not much bubbling action. I wanted to find out as much about the best way to supplement my watering. I do not want to try to use the pH meter until I get the buffer and storage solutions, to check the calibration. It seems that I heard 5.5 was a good pH for M. M. I want to do all of my shopping for these needed items today or at least before friday.

I have already purchased products for cloning, NAA & IBA containing products but the kelp based Humic acid may not have been money well spent, what do you think? It says to spray it on the leaves. Are iron based products meant to be used for pH control? I am already adding fertilizer in small quantities to my water and even added some of the kelp mixture, I might as well use it up if I can. Also, I have already increased the Spagnum Peat Moss in my potting soil by about 20% for water retention, drainage and some humic acid.

I have a small squirrel cage blower with a 3" round outlet but it may move too much air. The yard light that I mentioned previously and has a heavy transformer, is actually one of the yard lights that you used for the ballast and since it has the mercury vapor bulb in it, then I can use it and the blower for one of your cool tubes.

One last question, will the HPS bulb screw into the same socket as the mercury vapor yard light or will I need to buy the whole setup? or will
Thanks again
 
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You can only use the yard light if it is a high pressure sodium or a metal halide. You cannot put a high pressure sodium bulb in a mercury vapor light fixture. And a mercury vapor light is no good for growing. The ballast is specific to the type of bulb and you cannot use different types of bulbs (unless you have a convertible or electronic ballast and yard light do not have those). However, keep your eyes open for the same type of fixture, but with a HPS bulb and ballast. I found the ones I got for $2 each. The "cool tube" is a pyrex tube I got off e-bay that is meant to bake round bread loaves, but I love to repurpose things. Your fan should work fine with your smaller space. Do you have a cfm rating on the fan--that should tell you if it is too much. You can also get a fan speed controller to slow down the fan if need be.

I am not familiar with the cloning products you have mentioned, but that really means nothing. I like Olivia's and Clonex and generally just stick with those. Do not use too much peat moss--you actually want the medium to dry out somewhat between waterings. Too much water retention will result in not enough O for the roots. I am more of a water baby so cannot offer much advise on soil grows (haven't grown soil for 15 years or so).

If you are unable to get some kind of HPS, I would go with 5-6 42w or larger CFLs in the 2500-3000K range (and keep looking and/or save for a HPS as your yields will probably double)

Well water in general tends to be more acidic than alkaline, however you will know when you test your water. You are also probably going to want to test for undissolved solids in your water. For soil grows you want a pH of 6.2 to 6.8. For a hydro grow the pH should be in the 5.5 to 6.0 range.

Remember that this is a product that sells for $300 or more--it is going to take an investment of time, effort, study, and (unfortunately) money to reap a decent yield. A small space can still give you a decent yield, but you do need to try and optimize what space you have.
 

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