Advice, help, all kinds of questions, looking to learn, on a budget, just for fun!

Let me start by saying that I am 100% new to growing and learning as I go. Please hold any rude comments to yourself. I know I am doing a LOT wrong, but this is how I learn :blush:. I found this site and decided to join and post, looking for advice. The flowers I produce are mostly for fun; I end up giving 75% of it away. What I do consume is to help me sleep.

I started growing in my garden two years ago. Outdoor is so easy! I set my sprinklers, gave it fertilizer from time to time and everything went well. The first year I got around 8 ounces from 2 plants; I got around three from one plant this year. I grew them in a pot next to my veggies.

This summer, I decided to play around with cloning, I tried three cuts, but the only one took; I wasn’t expecting a lot since the cut was halfway through the growing season. The plant took started to grow, and I was happy! But it never started to flower? I think I had it too close to my porch light, and that affected it. Well, I wasn’t willing to give up!
The season was over, starting to snow (Colorado), so I brought it inside. I have NEVER grown inside! On a budget, I got a light (600W LED), set it up, and here we go!

Not too long after going inside, it started to flower! YA! But man, things are so different inside! First off, watering. Outside in the summer heat, I was watering almost every other day. Now maybe once a week and I think that’s too much? (this is where I think my problem is). I am starting to notice the leaves’ tips pointing down; I think it’s because of overwatering, but I’m not 100% sure. I don’t give it a lot of fertilizer, and when I do, I use ½ of what it says per gallon (Fox Farm). I just got a PH tester and am getting used to how this works (I kind of starting to think the cheap amazon one I got might be a POS)

So now, after all that, here are some of my questions.

  1. The leaves’ tips pointing down. I think this is overwatering, but I am also noticing some of the leaves look malformed. Maybe something else?

  2. PH Tester and getting it right. I bought distilled water from Walmart (the cheap one), and it was testing around 7.5? I was under the impression it should be more in the 6.5 range? From my tap, I am getting the same results? (yes, I calibrated the cheap thing). Using the PH down, I got it close to 6.5 (after several tries, lol). I guess this not a question but more looking for some advice on how to do this?

  3. Temperature. I have my setup in my basement in a room that is not controlled by my HVAC system. I have a small space heater set up on a timer. It turns on an hour after lights on and off an hour before lights off. During lights on, I am around 72 and lights off around 62. I read a few posts, and this seems all over the place. Some people say yes, the temp should drop at night, and some say no and keep it consistent. Thoughts on this?

  4. Humidity. I live in Colorado; it’s Fing DRY here! My humidity levels without a humidifier is around 22%. I am using a small room humidifier (something we used with my kids are sick). With this, I can get it up to around 35%. I’m not sure I am willing to invest in something more extensive. Saying that since it’s a small thing not designed for what I am using it for, how bad is it if the humidity levels are not consistent? Should I just not use a humidifier?

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Hey I am a first time indoor grower in CO. I know your challenges! I can just pass on advice I received in this form.

Humidity - besides the little humidifier I have in the closet I wet a hand towel, hang it up, and I can get it up to 50%. I also noticed after watering day it jumps up to 70%. I also run a small fan constantly.

Overwatering - I was definitely overwatering. Now I wait until the bags are light and I can stick my finger down to the second knuckle and it is dry. Usually once a week. I water until I see a bit of runoff so I can test pH and ppm. My leaves were turning down and I saw leaves twisting.

Water - Tapwater here runs about 7.2-7.4. I take a gallon and let it sit about 24 hours. I found that a 1/4 teaspoon of white vinegar brings it down to the sweet zone between 6.2 and 6.5. Or 1/4th of a 1/4 tsp of citric acid (Walmart sells it). When the pH is high you get a lockout of nutrients in the soil.

Fungus gnats - just info if they show up…mosquito bites when you water and yellow sticky traps. I have heard others use neem oil but I could not find any locally.

I am still trying to figure out what nutrients I may need. I started this on a whim with some potting soil from the shed and a cheap light.

My thanks to @Nicky @Otis @Sirsmokesalot @Skydiver. These are just a few that have been helping me along recently.

I have tagged them not only to show my sincere with thanks for their advice for my Gary plant (GG4). Also I am sure they can answer more of your questions.

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@JaneQP Thank you for the advice! Neverheard of Fungus gnats but I will watch out for them. Also, what do you do for the temp? are you going down at night?

@Amore420. Dark little flying things. They drop eggs in moist soil an the larva eat roots. My houseplants get them but because of this forum I have a new approach!

Here’s a couple thoughts
Reverse Osmosis and Distilled water doesn’t have enough dissolved solids (PPM/EC) in it to be able to read the PH and it is essentially neutral so there isn’t any need to check the PH. When / If you add nutrients to that water that would be when you would check it’s PH and PPM before feeding and adjust accordingly if needed.
If adjusting PH down I use citric acid cheap and easy to get at grocery stores. Shoot for around 6.5 PH.
As far as PPM that changes depending on what stage growth they are in.
I grow using natural organic nutrients with a living soil trying to mimic what Mother Nature does for us outside but if you use chemical type man made fertilizer than that stuff tends to kill the living soil and that’s where you have to constantly check PH and PPM etc.
I don’t do that stuff anymore as the soil critters (bacteria and fungi and Protozoa etc etc do the heavy lifting eating my Neam, alfalfa, kelp meals and oyster shell powder etc and poop out plant available food.

As far as temps the main thing is to not have a big swing between day and night and looks like yours are fine.

Humidity is a big thing and if at all possible you’ll want to keep the relative humidity within a reasonable range based on what the temps are and the stage of growth they are in. This chart is what I refer to to keep my numbers as close as I can to where it’s healthy for the plants.

Hope this helps some and overall they don’t look that bad but I would if I were you check them for any pest bugs that might have come inside.
If you have a loupe or magnifying device take a look at the bottom of any leaves that don’t look normal and see if there are any signs like the actual insect or eggs or poop from them.

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Depending on the season summer fall winter etc my temps fluctuate as I’m growing in basement in Ohio.
Currently they are 78-80 day and 68-70 light off. I also adjust my house temps up or down to help with basement temps too.
It’s a dance. Doors open or closed extraction fans running higher or lower etc etc.
Higher temps is lower humidity
Lower temps is higher humidity
Higher humidity will lower temps and so on.
They will struggle with those low humidity levels you currently have.
They will grow but just not optimal

Some people use DTE (diatomaceous earth - get food grade) some use sand some mosquito bits ( I use this as well as some nematodes) and yellow sticky cards. The fungus gnats eat fungus that grows on top of soil and I have them because I always keep the soil top moist to keep the soil critters happy so I just accept that I’ll have them and treat accordingly.

For biological treatments check out Arbico Organics web site for various pests.

You won’t find much of that stuff going on here. We are here to help each other and pay things forward just like others did when I first joined and still do for me along my journey.

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@amore420. I have space heater and dose them with heat when I first wake up right about lights come on. I am getting worried since they woke up at 14.1 C degrees today. I am thinking about putting the space heater on a timer. Space heaters scare me since they started so many fires whenI was growing up. I tip mine over regularly so I make sure they shut off.

One thing to know when using timers or humidity/ temp controllers like inkbird is that if the plug is pulled or power goes out will they come back on? Many devices (heaters, humidifiers etc that are digital won’t but those that are analog will. Some will not written in stone just be aware.
Test it by having it on and unplug it and plug it back in…does it go back to where it was or back to default or just doesn’t come back on at all.
I’ve returned a small space heater because it was digital and wouldn’t
You can normally tell analog will not have digital display just simple knobs etc

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The space heater I am using is an Oil Filled Radiator Heater; these things are super safe. I have it on a timer, and it does come on and off without a problem. They take a bit to heat up and cool down, but once they get going, they work great!

The PH tester I have does not test PPM. Can you give me more advice on PPM?

Looking at your humidity chart, I am really not that far off. I am hovering around 35% (when I keep the tank full, lol) and 62 to 72 F, and I am in flower; it looks like I am right on; am I missing something? What’s crazy is in Colorado, and the humidity is super low, but growing outdoors has been easy?

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So my 9-5 is actually running a fairly large pest control company (like 9 states 100k customers scale)

Gnats are a pain. Cultural control is the best method (ie dont oversaturate your medium on a regular basis). I swear gnats at my house are the worst anywhere in the country (again I travel a lot so I have a good idea). They can even reproduce without taking a single meal!!

BTi works amazing as a preventative. I also cut little squares of sticky traps and put on the back of stakes. Change these out to monitor populations regularly. If I can help with any pest identification in the future let me know :slight_smile: :+1:

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@Sirsmokesalot, can you link me to a good sticky trap? maybe something from Amazon?

@Amore420
I picked up a total dissolved solids meter (TDS) from Amazon. It reads PPM and electrical conductivity (EC). It was under $15.

I have the top ones - they work fine no issues but I would probably buy the 50 pack since they have the stakes with them

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Welcome to the club @Amore420. Haven’t seen and doubt you will see any fowl comments on here. All these guys and gals are great. I’m new here and to growing and so far so good thanks to everyone here. Sounds like everyone has you covered for now but I’m here lurking around. Just throw a @ in front of the persons screen name and we will be notified, someone will be quick to get back to you. Good luck with the girls :grin::evergreen_tree:

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So tonight my Wyze timer failed and didn’t turn the lights off, I went an hour and 15 past light off :frowning: How bad is this going to affect my girl?

Don’t use distilled water https://www.trees.com/gardening-and-landscaping/distilled-water-for-plants#:~:text=When%20you%20distill%20tap%20water,balance%20and%2For%20pH%20levels.

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Any advice on the light problem I had the other night?

Also, i am seeing what looks like maybe bug damage. I don’t see any bugs but what’s the safest way to address this?

I got a soil PM tester today, I am surprised at the results. Looks to be right at 6.5!