My grow journal - Col. Kif

Col. Kif

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Hello folks,

I'm brand new here and even so, I'd like to jump right in. I'm a Med Patient in California, and a live in caregiver for my elderly parents, who are also patients.

I decided to grow because in these lean times our funds are limited. I re-purpose and re-use anything and everything I can. Price vs. benefit is paramount in my choices and decisions on how to deal with the needs of the grow.

I am also an organic grower. That doesn't mean I'm not open to other methods or unfamilliar with them. I grow that way because I like to.

I am also an indoor grower. That decision is based on being as courteous and non obtrusive to my community as I can be. Because of the severe weather extreems my area gets, it also gives me an insulation barrier to help keep the correct temperature and humidity ranges.

Now I'm not wholly unexperienced but I can see the calibur of growers here. I look forward to learning from you all.

So here's the particulars for this stage....

Hand made insulated enclosure for clone establishment & early veg. 2'x 4' x 3 1/2'. The floor of this enclosure is also insulated to isolate it from the concrete slab floor.

Hand made light fixtures using a total output of 300 watts of Spiral cfl's, 4950 lumens 6500k. They are made to raise and lower, so I can make up for the poor F stop range of cfl.

Re-purposed Bathroom cieling exhaust fan & box. 125 watt 650 CFM fitted to 4" aluminum dryer vent hose. Fan draws from the top of the enclosure and vents at pot level.

8 plants total. All Cuttings from my Pre-98 Bubba Kush/Emerald Kush Mother.

Cuttings were taken & rooted using the tried and true wrapped Grodan's, ph'd water and Clonex gel.

Soil - The product I use is a fully composted mix, from a california based company, that contains coir, worm castings, kelp & alfalfa extracts, fully composted chicken, bat, & seabird guano's as well as some "seafood" byproducts to add natural sources for minerals. It exactly matches some of the Fox Farms soils but at 1/3 the price.

I also amend this soil with a mix of chunky and small pearlite. 2/3 soil 1/3 pearlite. and mix in a Mychorrizae starter.

I use tap water run through a cartridge type charcoal & microsceen filter. Ph's close to 6.5 and low PPM.

Since the soil is already enriched, the only additive nutes I use are Alaska brand fish emulsion, Alaska brand Morbloom, and Fox Farm's Big Bloom. I also use an animal feed grade Molassas.

I apply big bloom at first sign of rooting and at soil acclimation. The Fish Emulsion at tbsp per quart early veg, add Big bloom at 1 tbsp per quart for the rest of Veg. I start Molassas at 1/4 cup per gallon applied as a flush before adding flowering nutes.

I have a separate flowering enclosure 2 1/2' x 4 1/4' x 7', with 900 watt total output on 3 hand made light fixtures. 14850 lumens 6500k or 2700k for finish veg and flowering.

I keep both tents occupied so I don't loose or lag crops.

Here's the fresh cuts just under a month ago......

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Here is a pic during soil acclimation & rooting....

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Here's a pic after being re-potted into 1 gallon and started on early veg, about 5 days ago...

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:bong1: Keep it green!

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jmansweed

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looking nice Col Kif, sounds like you have things well under control so far. Keep us posted.
 

loolagigi

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nice to have you. you picked the right forum. green mojo to ya.
 

2Dog

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cool grow sounds good I will love watching this! good for you being a loving son..
 

Col. Kif

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So went in and checked plants....

They are establishing in the 1 gallons, as evidenced by thier more rapid growth. So I'm calling this the official start of veg.

Pics of 2 plants from the enclosure..

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pic2.jpg

This one shows coverage....

pic3.jpg

And a close up showing F.I.M. (Don't ask!!!)

pic4.jpg

Thank you again for the warm welcomes....

Yes, I rotate them. One zone shift per photoperiod. Also wanted to add my Watt usage is under 600 w/H for lights, ventillation etc... Depending on zone rate usage.... I pay about a $14.00 larger electric bill for the whole grow, monthly.

This is why I use cfl. HiD lights do pay for themselves in larger grows IMO but the price break from return, in faster turn around and larger yield aren't fully realized untill you hit around 100 plants.

Appearently I have to have 15 posts to post pics.... strange... I uploaded and posted 3 already... oh well I'll fix it later.....

Okies it appears fixed.... pics uploaded & attached with success :)
 

Hick

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your plants look healthy and happy, but.....
I have a separate flowering enclosure 2 1/2' x 4 1/4' x 7', with 900 watt total output on 3 hand made light fixtures. 14850 lumens 6500k or 2700k for finish veg and flowering...........Also wanted to add my Watt usage is under 600 w/H for lights, ventillation etc
I'm going to go out on a limb here.... I'm guessing those numbers(900 watts) are the "equal to" or "equivalent of", and not actual wattage. (900 watts of HID lighting would efficiently cover over twice ]your projected area. A single 1k hps emitts around 140,000 lumens)
"14,850 lumens"........"2.5'X4.25"= 10.65 sq.ft.
round it off to 1500 L/p/sq. ft.. or less than 1/3 of the "recommended" for flowering.(a 400 watt hid would be just about 'perfect' for your area @ 50,000 lumens)
This is why I use cfl. HiD lights do pay for themselves in larger grows IMO but the price break from return, in faster turn around and larger yield aren't fully realized untill you hit around 100 plants.
HID's are proven time and again, to be more efficient for growing. In order to produce "equal usable lumens", you will use more electricity, and spend more on initial setup/purchase, and produce a very similar heat signature, with cfls than with hid.


For every 500 watts of continuous use, you use about $20 a month in electricity, so it is evident that a lamp taking half the power to output the same lumens (or twice the lumens at the same power level) will pay for itself in a year or so, and from then on, continuous savings will be reaped. This is a simple initial cost vs. operating costs calculation, and does not take into account the faster growth and increased yield the HPS lamp will give you, due to more light being available. If this is factored into the calculation the HPS lamp will pay for itself with the first crop, when compared to MV or fluorescent lamps, since it is easily twice as efficient and grows flowers faster and bigger.
Lamp Type Watts Lumens/bulb Total efficiency
Fluorescent Bulb 40 3000 30k lumens
Mercury Vapor 175 8000 20k lumens
Metal Halide 400 36000 36k lumens
High P. Sodium 400 45000 45k lumens

I'm NOT knocking your plants/grow, simply discounting, or verifying information. ;)
 
T

The Hemp Goddess

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I'm with Hick--you are seriously underlit. Equivalent wattage on the CFLs do not mean anything--it is the lumens that count. Your vegging space is 8 sq ft--you should be running 24,000 lumens, you have 4950. The lighting in your flowering space is good for a little under 3 sq ft. at 5000 lumens per sq ft.--you need 3 times the lighting in your flowering space and 5 times the light in your vegging space. It is a common misconception that CFLs cost less than HPS lighting, but that is simply not true, even in a grow your size. I do not know where you got the 100 plant info, but that is not correct. Lumen for lumen, CFLs cost more to purchase initially, cost more to operate every single month, put out more heat, and produce substantially less bud than an HPS. HPS are NOT more and pay for themselves the very first grow

Also, you need to be bringing fresh air into your grow spaces all the time the lights are on. If you are pulling (hot) air from the top of the space and redirecting towards your plants, you are going to have some serious heat problems. CFLs will actually run as hot or hotter (lumen per lumen) than a HPS. You need some kind of inlet and exhaust The exhaust is usually at the top of the room as heat rises.

I would suggest using the CFLs in your household lights to help bring those electricity costs down and getting a HO T5 for your vegging space (at least 20000 lumens) and a 400W air cooled HPS for flowering. This set up will use a bit over 600W, but will give you 70,000 lumens compared to the 19,800 you have now--3-1/2 times as many lumens for just a slight increase in wattage. Otherwise, you are so underlit that I do not believe that you will get much bud growth at all.

Things are easy when they are very small and they can root and do early vegging under almost any light. But don't let this fool you into believing that you can finish with the same lighting. Once they take off, they are going to demand more light or you will have light fluffy buds at best.

I hope you can take this in the spirit that it is meant. I am trying to give you the best advise I can to help you be a decent medical grower for you and your parents.
 

Col. Kif

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Thanks Hick & Hemp Goddess,

I'm always open to constructive criticism and learning. That for taking the time to post.

Allow me to explain why I have the enclosure set up the way I do.

I live in a place where the temp frequently drops to below freezing in the winter. The enclosure is indoors but in an unheated separate garage. When it's 25-30 degrees F outside, its about 40 in there....

The enclosures are set up to recycle waste heat rising from the lights and re-circulates it with a percentage of fresh air controlled by a gate.

Depending on how much cold air I allow into the system, regulates the enclosure's temp... so far Its been staying between 64-72 F

As far as the lights go.... I get them within 2-3" of my plant tops to overcome the shorter F stop of cfl. As far as not having enough? By your numbers it does look like I don't have enough.... but my plants tell me different.

Wasn't trying to start a argument over lighting or spread bad information... but scientists say a bumblebee can't fly... and yet they manage.

Now the lightning set up you mentioned with the 400W HPS & HO T5's ?

How much do those fixtures cost? lamps? ballasts? cooling fan for the HPS?

My total out of pocket for the socketed strips, materials, lamps everything was under $70 and I mounted and wired them in under an hour.

Now, I ask that though, I'm skeptical on the lighting issue. Please don't take it as me being unappreciative of your experience and advice.
 

jmansweed

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These two (HG and HICK) know what they're taking about in regards to lighting. (in regards to most things Cannabis infact) - I would take the advise as fact. Lighting will have major influence over production and quality.
 

dragracer

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I have a 400 watt aircooled convertible ballust { will run MH or HPS } and it was around 260.00. Hick and THG know their stuff and it would benifit you to at least do a little research to understand where they are coming from. I am on a budget like everyone else, but lighting is one of several areas not to skimp on...just my .02 cents but I have learned a lot on this site and hope you do too!!! Good luck on your grow...:aok:
 
T

The Hemp Goddess

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Col. Kif said:
As far as the lights go.... I get them within 2-3" of my plant tops to overcome the shorter F stop of cfl. As far as not having enough? By your numbers it does look like I don't have enough.... but my plants tell me different.

Wasn't trying to start a argument over lighting or spread bad information... but scientists say a bumblebee can't fly... and yet they manage.

While plants are very small like yours, they do not need much light, so how your plants are doing now is no indication of how they will do as they get larger. I do not understand the statement about the shorter F stop of CFLs :confused:. We are talking about lumens and no matter how close you get those CFLs, that is not going to overcome being so underlit. Every experienced grower will tell you that you need 3000 lumens per sq ft for vegging and 5000 lumens for flowering.

The bumblebee thing has nothing to do with what we are talking about. Between us, Hick and I have many, many, many years of growing experience. While science does have to do with a lot of things in growing, we are talking about real life experience now.

It would be wonderful if we could spend $70 and produce a product that sells for $300-400+, but we can't. You will be counting your harvest in grams. You are the caretaker for your elderly parents. We are giving you the best advise we can. We are telling you things we know to be true. You can take our advise and experience or not, but we do know what we are talking about.
 

Col. Kif

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That being the case.... after these 2 cycles are out of the enclosures, I will invest in the HO T-5's and an HPS.

I will use the next generation of the Bubba clones and compare growth rate, final yield. Then do a cost per gram analysis also factoring shorter veg and flowering time.

I just hear folks who run MH/HPS on small grows talking about rewiring for 20 amp circuits and the $150 extra a month thier electric bill is.... Thats after buying $600+ on a light, hood & ballast, inline fans etc...

Right now if I got hit with an extra $150 for an electric bill.... I'd be eating a LOT of rice and top ramen.
 

Col. Kif

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Hemp Goddess,

The F stop refers to the cohesive focal length of the light energy before it begins to disperse.

HiD lamps project the light energy further before it begins to scatter.
 

Hick

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Col. Kif said:
That being the case.... after these 2 cycles are out of the enclosures, I will invest in the HO T-5's and an HPS.

I will use the next generation of the Bubba clones and compare growth rate, final yield. Then do a cost per gram analysis also factoring shorter veg and flowering time.

I just hear folks who run MH/HPS on small grows talking about rewiring for 20 amp circuits and the $150 extra a month thier electric bill is.... Thats after buying $600+ on a light, hood & ballast, inline fans etc...

Right now if I got hit with an extra $150 for an electric bill.... I'd be eating a LOT of rice and top ramen.

You're not arguing... ;) and we're not leading you wrong. cfl's will produce buds, but in order to, you still need to provide sufficient illumination. The cfl's require more energy in order to produce those needed lumens. Actually meaning that the "20 amp breaker" and such will come into play sooner.
Work and energy consumed are proportionate to heat produced. (and I'm not sure that I'm explaining that in an 'understandable' manner)
Let me try an example...
if you consume 400 watts of energy and produce 90,000 lumens, that leaves X amount of energy producing heat... if you consume 400 watts of energy and produce 70,000 lumens, "that" leaves X +(the amount of energy consumed to produce the other 20,000 lumens) producing heat... "more energy, less lumens, more heat"....
A lot of us in the northern hemisphere are basking in cooler temps for the grows, but spring and summer are just around the corner. You "will" need to deal with it soon. Venting/cooling a single hid is probably going to be a simpler task than trying to cool a dozen cfls.
You can find anaolog ballasted 400 hps for around $100 if you shop.
 

Col. Kif

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Cool, cause I'm totally willing to try it... just have to be convinced in my own mind that it'll be worth it for the size of grow I have.

Oh I am also well aware the setup has to change to deal with our OTHER temp extreems.... like the 110 F days in the shade of summer and lack of any appreciable humidity.

I'll redo the enclosures by the start of summer and hunt down some of those cheap HPS you mentioned. I've just never trusted stuff from Craig's List or Ebay... which is the only places I have found lower prices.
 

Col. Kif

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Some fresh pics after they got thier Mycorr booster.... Fox farms Peace of mind 5-8-4 added as a soil dressing and Watered in with Molassas and Big Bloom tea.

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Col. Kif

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Just an updated pic of how the Bubba babies are doing.

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This is what I have in early flower, a Pacific G-13...

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Rusty Gribble

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looking green man. good luck with the grow. check out htgsupply.com, you can get 400w hps/mh systems starting pretty cheap.
 

nouvellechef

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That money you spend on a good 400hps set up and T5's for veg will last you many years and produce much dense bud. Like Hick said, it will produce bud but don't you want to put a 1g nug in there and get many tokes off of it? Enter HID. I can tell you know a few things from your post, nutrients and basic PH/plant health. You throw HID into the mix and hello apricot hard nugs. Either way, welcome and GL.
 

nouvellechef

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That money you spend on a good 400hps set up and T5's for veg will last you many years and produce much dense bud. Like Hick said, it will produce bud but don't you want to put a 1g nug in there and get many tokes off of it? Enter HID. I can tell you know a few things from your post, nutrients and basic PH/plant health. You throw HID into the mix and hello apricot hard nugs. Either way, welcome and GL.
 

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