A New Beginning - Help with 1st planting in 45 years

I am new to this whole site, including the forum. I live in the Phoenix, Arizona area and I have purchased the Zkittlez Autoflower seeds. My thought process is to get them germinated around mid-January indoors, moving them to maybe solo cups from rockwool cubes in a couple weeks and transplant them outdoors within a month. A few questions here… is a 3 gallon smart pot good for these plants, or should I go with 5 gallon or beyond? Is my timing and process good for the germinating/planting? I am concerned about the heat of the summer. Planting at that time, I hope to avoid that. Am I able to plant a second crop? If so, when should I start it?

With autos you should be fine starting now they generally finish in 3-4 months


One of the more important “issues” you will face in your area is the minerals in your water. Colorado river water has VERY high levels of minerals; your PPM (Parts Per Million) of water right out of the tap could be 800,000 to 1,200,000. Look up the reports your local water company publishes about this; it is available online.

Begin to familiarize yourself with some of this. And ask more questions - there ARE people on this forum who can assist you in almost anything; and remember - growing is learning.

Thanks! Can you tell me anything about the type of soil, the amount of water and nutrients that these plants might need?

Fortunately, I live in the San Tan Valley area that is on Johnson Utilities water, which uses well water. I looked at the water quality report and I should have no problem with it. Thanks for the warning! From what I have read, the Zkittles Auto take more water and nutrients. I guess that I just have to play that by ear. I will be planting in the 5 gallon smart pots, so I am trying to look for soil to use. I went to Walmart and didn’t find what I was looking for. Any suggestions there?

I do continue to read… both books and the different threads here. I have a lot to learn, as things have changed since the late 60s!

Personally I like the fox farm, happy frog is my favorite. Any clean organic soil will work. What I mean by clean is absolutely no salt based nutrients in it no slow release plant food etc. They make it hard to tell because even the good ones will say enough food to feed for one month or something similar to that. That’s why I just get weed specific products it’s easier.

Go to the fox farm site they have a search tool for their dealers

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Thanks, I had been thinking of the FFHF. It looks like I would probably need at least 4 cu. ft.

It’s good soil ph’ed ready to go. Alot of people like the ocean forest because it is loaded with good nutrients but the hf doesn’t have much in it and it gives you the control over what and more importantly when your plants eat. With hf you can literally drop a sprout right in and go

What are you using for your nutrients?

I used fox farm trio until grow before last I switched to earth dust it’s a premixed product that makes your soil a organic living soil and I am not switching from this stuff I really like it

Your water situation is good news!

FYI, I learned due to a recent debaclen with my grows that my local water company uses Chloramine (vs. Chlorine) in our water (which is over 90% rainwater from local lakes).

Chloramine, is cheaper (naturally) and does NOT get “removed” by aerating for 24 hours. You have to run the water through filters or activated charcoal. Almost lost three croups before I discovered this.


Hello welcome. I’m also a new grower. I live in Tempe.

Working on my first grow. White widow auto turned 40 days old today.

Having a blast doing this. One thing you may not have considered is the new law(I believe I read this) specifies that you grow indoors, in a lockable room. Depends on your neighbors on whether or not you think they would turn you in when your plant started flowering. I was going to try to grow in my back yard, but decided to go indoors with it. I do want to try to grow outdoors eventually.

Well, the law states “cultivation takes place within a closet, room, greenhouse or other enclosed area on the grounds of a residence equipped with a lock or other security device that prevents access by minors.” I would be growing it within the walled back yard of my place with a locked gate into the yard. That is an “enclosed area on the grounds of a residence equipped with a lock.” Some lawyers have said that brings the meaning of the law right to the very edge.

In NM it’s required for all sides to be secured which includes the top. People here are using large dog run looking enclosures with that camo netting over the top

They sell those portable greenhouses on eBay for about $30. I might get one of those.

Well, since I would be growing it within the walled back yard of my place with a locked gate into the yard, I look at the verbiage of the law. That is an “enclosed area on the grounds of a residence equipped with a lock.” 1) It is on the grounds of our residence and it is equipped with a lock, 2) one definition of enclosed area is “to surround, as with a fence or wall.” Now, I am no legal expert. However, I can certainly argue that if I am fined for growing in our back yard that I am following the intent of the law to the best of my understanding.


Good luck I hope nobody steals your plant. (That’s another reason I went indoors) teenage kids around where I live wouldn’t think twice about jumping a fence to steal someone’s weed.

Wish you all the best happy growing.

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I’m from AZ as well. I would think the difficulty in growing outdoors here in the summer months out weighs the initial cost of an indoor setup. LED’s and ECmotor fans have made indoor tent growing so very cost effective. I have a 300w LED and a 3x3 space with two 4 inch fans as well as 3 fans inside tent and I have only seen like a 15 dollar a month increase in my bills. No lie I have spent close to 1500 in initial startup but if you think about it that’s only 3-4oz’s worth of top shelf at the dispensary, this equipment is gonna pay itself off. It’s good you plan to follow the letter of the law, in making sure you have locks and fence etc. The issue is that criminals don’t. If you have 2 or 3 or 6, 4 foot skunks in your yard, the neighbors are gonna know it, so will the Amazon delivery guy, or the Uber driver, and the mailman, and your neighbors, nephew who is visiting from outa state, and is bored because he isn’t with his homies ripping up the block. Indoors, with filtered exhaust is 1000% safer and more discrete. Don’t even get me started on the pests that exist outdoors. Unless you live way outta town or something. Good luck with the water, I just use distilled.

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Az here also (Gilbert). Getting ready to start 4 autos, then transplant the seedlings into 5 gal fabric pots. We are on a large lot and have tons of landscaping, so my plan is to do some “stealth” growing in my own yard. Locked gates, 6 foot block wall. I’m pretty confident no one will see them. We are in a dead end street, don’t get much traffic.

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It’s often recommended to start auto’s in their forever pot. Transplanting auto’s is dangerous because of shock. Auto’s are different then photo’s in that they flower regardless of light cycle. 24, 18/6, 12/12 does not matter to the autoflower and that they are FAST avg 8-10 weeks. Transplant shock can cost you a day, or 3 even and to an auto that is a lot of time lost. I transplanted the same auto in my current (first) grow twice and didn’t have any shock so perhaps it’s all in technique? I dunno, need to grow more plants to say one way or the other. Figured I’d pass on what I’d read and what I’d experienced. Good luck on your grow.