An Anniversary – My Rookie Year

It is spring-early summer 2019 and it is garden planting time. My wife came to the garden and handed me some seeds. “Find a place for these and let’s see what happens” she said. We had space and stuck 10 or so seeds in one of the raised beds. A week or so later a set of leaves emerged and then another set. Two cannabis plants. I was fired up. You mean you can actually grow this stuff. I watered and tended to them over the next couple of weeks. They were growing and thriving. You gotta be kidding, is this really happening? They are amazing plants. I was hooked!
With that thought in mind I was online searching for cannabis seeds. Being so out of touch with this I was dumbfounded. You can really buy them online – no way – YES way. Autos, photos, feminized, landrace – a whole new world emerged. Being the ABC kind of person I am, buy seeds what then? How do you grow them? I started looking for equipment etc. While looking at lights I came across Black Dog and their series of grow videos. Man, that looks easy. I garden and have a general knowledge, how hard can that be. I can do that. On their site they sold complete packages. I wasn’t ready to drop that kind of $$ on one of their packages but it gave me a list, a resource to begin shopping in earnest. I did come to learn that I really didn’t need the $50 stainless steel C-Vault humidor and have not opened let alone use the Growzone temp / humidity controller or the special glasses. I don’t know how many hours I spent looking at lights. Sound familiar? Obviously, this is before I knew about the forum or signed up. Had I known about it, it would have been 5 seconds and found HLG to be the go-to light and had it ordered. That said, I settled on Kind XL 600 for my 3x3 and ordered everything from Hydrobuilder. This was on 7/25
While figuring out the grow side of things, I had placed my first order with ILGM. Forty-five autoflower seeds. WW, JH, AH BB and NL arrived 7/26. The order from Hydro started to arrive. It was better than Christmas. I rearranged my workshop, turned it into my Lab and set the tent up on 7/29. I am in business – not literally. TO BE CONTINUED….
I am sure every one has a first grow experience. Successful or not so successful. If you care to share please do so. For many of you, that was many years ago (no tags here).


That sounds about like my experience setting up for my first indoor grow. I learned a lot. That positive energy/excitement is awesome. I fell in love immediately. I never realized how therapeutic it is to grow bud.

Needless to say my grow space has evolved a lot over time. Best part is it pays for itself. Besides the intial set up I haven’t spent any money out of pocket.


Relying on ILGM descriptions and search filters I decided to start with 5 White Widows. 7/28 dropped them into a glass of tap water. Finally saw a tail and put all of them into peat pots filled with starter mix. Waited. Waited some more – nothing. As an impatient first-time grower will do, dropped 5 more WWA seeds. You guessed it. Within a week I am looking at nine seedlings. How am I going to manage 9 plants in a 3x3. I transferred the peat pots into 4 5-gallon fabric pots. Scrounged around and came up with some 5-gallon plastic pots. So, all was good except only 4 fit in the tent. I did a little more rearranging in the lab to make space for the remaining 5. In the meantime, I got on Amazon and ordered a Bestva 600, a 125-watt blurple beauty. As they grew I soon learned I needed more light and more space. This time I ordered a King 600. Another $90 130-watt blurple special. I put 2 plants in one corner the other 3 in another corner. I knew the lights were underpowered so picked up a Kind 4’ light bar. I don’t know if it is for veg or flower but it is more light. I had another LED I use to start vegetables and threw it into the mix
This is the mess I had in the tent

I managed to bring them to harvest mid to late October
Ended up with about 360 grams, dried and cured.
As for the ones outside the tent, they had to deal with tight quarters .
It wasn’t a total loss considering the cluster I created. They weighed in at 270 grams for 5 plants. The growing conditions had a big impact on harvest quality and weight.


Based on my experience with WWA I wanted a more compact and subdued plant. The WW on day 47 were almost 4’ tall. And they continued growing another 6”. Certainly genetics but I misread the FF Trio dose rates and fed them to the max. I am surprised I didn’t kill them. Anyway, I asked the forum and Blueberry it is. Great choice I must agree. I very enjoyable experience with no issues that I remember or didn’t recognize. Having had difficulties seeing the WW trichomes I decided to buy a Plugable 2 microscope. Anxious to put it to use I soon discovered this can not be a handheld device. So, picked up a camera tripod. Great combination

Dropped 5 seeds on 11/10. Unfortunately, 2 did not germinate and had to go with 3. They grew true to form and were fantastic plants. The first to harvest
The other two a week or so before harvesting .
New scope in action – love trichome pictures
Three plants total dried and cured 275 grams. A couple of jars I wish a 4th had germinated.



What is the saying: “what you don’t know, you don’t know”. That may be true but ignorance is not recommended when it comes to growing cannabis. I found that out growing Amnesia Haze. Since I got through a couple of harvests, I thought I would push them to see if I can improve harvest results. Wrong strain and terrible execution. I dropped the seeds while waiting for the blueberries to finish and set up a separate veg area and put the extra lights I bought for the WWA to work.

Soon thereafter issues arose

And they worsened

Finally, on day 44 I asked the forum for help. Some of the issues I brought up

and . Namely, major nitrogen toxicity, CalMag deficiencies along with unstable ph and nitrogen overload.

Obviously pushing nutrients was a bad decision. Too much and way too soon. Ph? Blindly I thought my water was OK – wrong. Previously I used mostly collected rain water and the plants liked it. I had to use tap water this time of year. Never tested it and didn’t have a ph pen or ppm meter. So, the forum and a couple great mentors politely instructed me to pay attention to the ph and ppm parameters or forever have issues and poor results. I heeded their instructions and learned how to flush my plants. I bought CalMag, the go to savior, a ph pen and ppm meter. Tools in hand I started to test my water and nutrient solutions. A big step forward for a person that did not think / know it was that important. Oh, I didn’t water to runoff so I had no idea what the readings were but it sure helped the nutrients accumulate. Once I got on track, for the most part, I was able to bring in 3 of the 4 plants. Surprisingly, it wasn’t terrible at 280 grams. The 4th plant, the one with severe nitrogen burn, was a total bust. I had to cut off all of the bud sites while flowering. It turned into a garden mum and the buds were worthless larf.

I am learning and making progress.

You can see more at Northern Lights Flower - 2nd Installment - SCROG
I ph and ppm everything, In and out


I should mention I made two modifications / additions to the tent for this grow.
Added 4 photo boost light strips just in time for flower cycle. Combined, the two lights can produce 450 + watts in my 3x3.

Also added a 6" TerraBloom intake fan


very nice

1 Like

Thanks. Nothing revelatory but a few lessons to share.

The evolution of your growing skills and set up. It definately improves as you go.

Beautiful Northern Lights. She is nice and frosty.