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My first grow - Sort of

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Jeffrey
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Geraniol
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Hi, This is my first grow, sort of. I have a background in agronomics so plant, soils and biology are nothing new to me. This is my first soil grow of cannabis, I've dabbled before with an Aero-garden (we won't talk about that). I'm in Arizona so it's now completely legal and I'm so excited!

I'm growing Afghan feminized auto. I'm using RO water bought at a local dispenser. I have 12 inch pots with eight quarts of soil each. The soil is Expert Gardener (Walmart brand) it has very low NPK .05-.03-.06. It seems to be a pretty good blend, a light potting soil with very little mulch. The lights are a combination of two GE led grow lights with a balanced light spectrum and I've utilized the lights that came with the Aero-garden which are a full spectrum florescent. The closet I'm growing in is two feet by 3 feet and I've lined the walls with insulating emergency Space blankets. I have an oil filled electric heater and keep the room about 73 to 78 degrees f. The only humidity I've provided are three pans filled with water, it may help a little. I also have a low volume 4 inch fan providing some air circulation.

I pre-germinated the seeds on Nov.16. They sprouted and were planted straight into the 12 inch pots on Nov.20.

On Nov.25 I had some spider mites. I treated the pots, soil and room with a 9 to 1 water and isopropyl. I tried to get as little as possible on the plants themselves as they didn't seem to be attacking them. The problem cleared in a couple of days.

This is Nov.30. Ten days after planting. I've been watering a little every day in the beginning.

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Also on Nov.30 I gave them their first feeding (probably too early). I am using Fox Farm Grow Big which is a 6-4-4. I started with 2 tsp. per half gallon of water divided between the three plants. So about two and a quarter cups per plant. I noticed some leaf curling the next day. I let the soil dry out for a couple of days, and the curling got better. 

Dec.2nd. gave a little water. Dec. 4th. fertilized again but with only 1 tsp. of fert to a half gallon of water. They seemed to take that ratio better.

Dec 6. 1 qt. water only - Dec.9 1 tsp. fert./ half gallon h20.

December 10th - Three weeks since sprouting.

1210201049a
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One of my three plants has stunted growth (not pictured). I am assuming just a bum seed or I did compress the soil a little more in one of the pots, this could be the one. This pot also has sprouted several mushrooms over time that I remove when I see them pop up. I am assuming the bagged soil came with it. I have read that mushrooms aren't bad in your cannabis grow but I can't help but think they have aided to the stunted growth.

Thanks for reading.

Having observed my pictures-do you think my fertilizer/water is on schedule?

Seems to be working out to fert every 4 to 5 days with water every 2 to 3.

What is your opinion on my one plant with stunted growth? How do you feel about mushrooms?

Should I trim back some of the larger leaves to allow more light to the inner plant?

I want to train back the plants to increase vertical growth and budding sites. Is it too soon to do this? Should I wait till my first flower appears? Do you have better suggestions on increasing yield?

Since this is an auto plant, should I keep the lights on 24/7 or should they still have a break? 

I don't have a Ph meter, I'm assuming my RO water is good. Should I invest in one? Does it make that much of a difference?

Should I invest an a humidifier, again, any big difference?

--------

All ready planning for my second grow. I get it now" I'm not so much addicted to marijuana, but I am addicted to growing"

---------

Thanks in advance for your time and experience if you've chosen to address some of my questions.

Grateful, Jeff

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MrGreenThumb2020
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@jeffrey welcome to Percys nice detailing

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Macky
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(@macky)
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Welcome to Percys man! With feed, cannabis plants do not eat alot compared to other plants, so go very light on the feed. 

If you have nutrients in that soil already, do not add any food to your water for at least 2 weeks. They wont need any until then. It is very easy to over feed them so just keep that in mind, and you should be fine with everything else mate. 

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Jeffrey
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@macky Thanks for your reply Macky. My soil has very low available N - .05%. I understand that cannabis doesn't need much feeding so I'm trying to ride the line of just enough but not to much. The Fox Farm I'm using has about 3% each of ammoniacal and nitrate. The plants should only take what it needs from this and the rest flushed out. Just trying to avoid burn and loading. I'm going at about a quarter of the label rate about every five days. The plants seem to be responding well, maybe a little dark, but hard to tell for sure. I would think I want to get as much vegetative growth before it goes to flower? What do you think?

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Myrcene
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Welcome to Percy's Jeff. Nice detailed write up !

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Jeffrey
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@toploader Since this is a "diary" I figured detailed is the way to go. May need to refer to it for my next grow

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Hart
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 Hart
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Posted by: @jeffrey

I have an oil filled electric heater and keep the room about 73 to 78 degrees f. The only humidity I've provided are three pans filled with water, it may help a little

Hello @jeffrey

I have an oil filled heater also, mine has a level top. I have placed metal pots/pans on top with water, evaporates much faster ... or maybe you are already doing this? If you are ignore this convo, lol

Posted by: @jeffrey

Should I invest an a humidifier, again, any big difference?

Yes, humidity plays a big part in the plants ability to breath. Too much humidity causes mold/mildew and not enough will stunt growth.

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Jeffrey
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@hart Thank you Hart for replying. I'm pretty sure I will look into an auxiliary humidifier for my next grow. Being winter AND living in Arizona humidity doesn't occur very often (at least I don't have to worry about mold). It will be interesting to compare the growth difference. The pans sit about 3 inches above the heater - So maybe I'm getting 'slow release' humidity ? Maybe I'll get a meter too. I'm seeing it's recommended near 80% for vegetative and closer to 50 for flower. What do you think?

  

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Chillbert
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Hey Jeffrey, sounds like you already got the bug!! I hope you really enjoy your grow (and the next one!) Great advice given above and a great introduction given by yourself! It’s great you can grow legally, this makes learning a little bit easier perhaps in some ways! 
looking forward to seeing how your grow develops, good luck bro 

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Jeffrey
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@chillbert Thank you Chilbert. It's so hard to break the stigma that I'm doing something illegal. I never thought I would see this in my lifetime.

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Hart
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 Hart
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Posted by: @jeffrey

I'm seeing it's recommended near 80% for vegetative and closer to 50 for flower.

Arizona you say, good for arthritis, nice and dry. Humidity depends on temperature, if you want to get scientific VPD (vapor pressure deficit) charts are online, it can be calculated, or there are electronic monitors which are expensive...so not! Who wants to get scientific?, lol. The temp for VPD uses canopy temp not grow room temp which are different usually. I just finished veg and I had mine set for 65% with a temp of 26C, my canopy temp was 24C. My humidifier couldn't get it any higher. I don't think I would go near 80, powdery mildew alert! Here's one of those fancy charts...

image

https://percysgrowroom.com/temperature-and-humidity-for-growing-cannabis/

 

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Jeffrey
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@hart Yikes !! That's a lot of technical humidity detail

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Hart
 Hart
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Sorry @jeffrey , that's the geek in me coming out again. Nerd  

Get yourself a hygrometer and see where you're at, start from there.

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twisted1
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Welcome to Percys @jeffrey

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Welcome to Percy's @jeffrey  looks like you off to a nice start.

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Jeffrey
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I live in a very dry climate - Arizona- and I don't have a humidifier in my grow room yet. I have read you can mist your plants once a day it this can help. This is seems contradictory, I have always thought you want to keep your foliage dry.

Do any of you use this method? Do you feel it's beneficial? Should you NOT do it in the flowering stage?

BTW - It is snowing right now and my outdoor humidity is 25%.

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Chillbert
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(@chillbert)
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You can leave water out in a bowl or several buckets and let it evaporate if you want to raise humidity. More surface area means more humidity (add more or less buckets) also you can try  turning your extraction fan down as much as you can.
You can also leave soaking wet towel or similar to wick moisture into the air.

trial and error and monitor humidity levels til you get what you’re after.

in uk it’s not a problem I have to deal with. Here the opposite, high humidity in winter, as our weather is wet cold and mostly shitty lol 

hope that helps a bit

good luck 

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Jeffrey
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@chillbert Thank you- I am using pans of water and they take a few days to evaporate. I really need to get a gauge to check my levels. At least I don't have to worry about mold !!

 

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Great advice from @Chillbert. Is your tent in an enclosed room? Mine is in my bedroom, so I added a humidifier. I need to keep my inline fan going all the time when the light is on due to heat, which with autos is 20 hours per day all the time. As a result, the only way I could control my tent environment was by controlling my bedroom environment. For me, that means in winter I use my window to control high temps and the humidifier for moisture. (make sure your thermostat is not in the same room)

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Jeffrey
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@basssman7 My grow room is a bathroom closet. 2' x 3' . I do have a small fan running downward all the time too-doesn't get too hot with led lights-The circulation just seems to be a good idea. An oil filled heater keeps the temps in the mid 70's and I open the door a few hours a day for some fresh air. Also gets some humidity from the shower once a day- I just want to keep it more consistent. I need to get a gauge.

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Basssman7
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I would not mist unless I was totally sure my air circulation would not leave any water drops to get stagnant and start issues.

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Jeffrey
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@basssman7 Thanks ! That's what I was thinking too.

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Another American grower lol, no worries Jeffery, we stick out really easily because we constantly want to use our Fahrenheit scale on temperatures. 

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Jeffrey
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@monkeydo - Sooo this is predominantly a European forum? Maybe I should find a site closer to home. I am hoping to find some help for outdoor growing in a high desert environment (central Arizona) come summer. I doubt I will find that here.

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Basssman7
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@jeffrey The forum was created in the EU but has many members all over the world. Lots of us from here in Canada and also quite a few from your country.

Personally, I think the worldwide reach of this forum makes it even better. If I was active only in a forum local to me all I could expect to learn is what everyone close to me does. If I want to learn something new it is more likely to come from outside of my comfort area and physical area. Why not have access to growing tips best practices as soon as they are discovered instead of waiting until it is widespread locally?

I gave you my input earlier in the thread. In winter I have ambient humidity from 15% to 30% and in summer we are generally between 50-95%. The more challenges you can overcome the easier it gets, or at least so I am told. lol

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Jeffrey
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@basssman7 Agreed - The wealth of knowledge on this forum is excellent and diverse. There is always much to be learned and I am enjoying all the info.

I am new to growing cannabis and want to give an outside grow a shot this summer. I have many years experience with turf and ornamentals in this climate but this plants need are different. Given that it's now legal in Arizona I think I may rely on my seed supplier for recommendations as well as my local nursery.

The climate can have such a swing-even in the middle of summer. It can be 90 (deg. f.) during the day and drop down to the 60's in the evening and super dry. I would have to believe that there is a strain that would thrive with this situation and I guess that's the info I'm having difficulty finding.

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Woolie
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@jeffrey taken me a while to get to know everyone here , there is growers here that plant outdoor , maybe not your exact location but wouldn't surprise me in your state buddy there's a few in Australia ect

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Jeffrey
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@woolieback Hope to find some local growers- wish there was a way to search by location on this site.

 

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Woolie
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@jeffrey we all have our own variables , I need more Relative humidity i open a window 🤣 but im uk , but its just a variable ultimately. I have a background in agriculture so I did think as I could plant a 100 acres of potatoes , eh its a weed easy , oh no didn't help ,just confused me more 😅 the guides here are real good ,its like forget the other guides and platforms blank them,  stay here and grow your own percy pal

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Jeffrey
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@woolieback Too Funny ! 236 acres of turf and ornamental here (aka golf course) Yeah - weeds a little different

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@jeffrey you could always ask the forum for anyone in your area or a similar climate. If they reply it's their choice but for security purposes you are correct, we can't provide that info.

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monkeydo
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@jeffrey Actually not, the site originates in the UK but there are more American members here than any other nationality, second are Canadians. We welcome and support growers from all around the world here at Percy's. This site has EVERYTHING and they even don't mind if I post in commonly used imperial units like pounds and gallons. We Americans stand out because we are usually post in units not used by other countries.

As for growing in arid and hot environments, we have it all here so I'm sure you can get the help you are looking for. Along the way I'm sure I'll learn something too.

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Jeffrey
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@monkeydo Just an ignorant American here - duh- Anything "across the pond" is Euro to me. - The wealth of information on this site is excellent and I have all ready learned a lot. It would be nice if the site provided a way to connect with a local member.

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Fish
 Fish
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@jeffrey hi and welcome to Percy’s, I have just read to here not went any further 😃 if I was u I would give Percy’s a chance before u jump to another platform 😃 I live in a hot dry place also and the guys on here are top class growers that have helped me enormously, but Percy’s is more than a place to learn to grow plants. There is a amazing community here that will help with everything. Sorry for the rant but I love this place😁

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Jeffrey
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@lovetoflyfish Percy's is an excellent forum and I'm not giving up. It would be nice to have a more local experience. If there was a way to connect with local user/members I think that would be a huge benefit for all.

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Chillbert
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(@chillbert)
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💡 Jeffrey You can speed up the evaporation process by aiming a fan at the water surface btw 

happy growing 

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Caryophyllene
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Also, my humidifier was purchased used for $20, so it does not have to break the bank. Smile

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