Beginning Journey- (3 Northern Lights Autos)

Hey guys,
Thank you experienced hands and grurus for joining me on an exciting time in my life. I’m ready to begin growing. Wow that feels crazy to say (and type). Been wanting to grow for quite some time. I was put off from growing by friends and family last year but they know little of the time, passion, and money I’ve put into this. A man with arthritis in his hips, back, two hip replacements, physical therapy, constant doctor visits since the age of 18 will throw anyone’s self-esteem in the toilet at points if not forever like I’ve searched and seen. Terrible disease. Bud doesn’t take the pain away, but it makes me not give a f*** which is a big reason why I’ve chosen Northern Lights as my first strain. I’ve heard it’s easy to work with, good for pain, muscle relaxation, and good yield. Excited to grow good flower. I want to do it right. I want to understand the science.


3x3x6 tent
Phlizon CREE COB 1500W
TaoTronics Humidifier
Dehumidifier (if needed)
Oscillating fan (not in photo, just bought)
Lasko Heater (regulated temp well so far)
3, 3 gal. Airpots
Location- Master bathroom

Vivosun 4in CarbonFan for extraction (no inline fan for incoming air, only ducting.

Soil is FFOF sterilized (boiled)

Germination method: paper towel method w/ distilled water in ziploc bag

Alright guys and gals, I’m here sharing my first grow with you all because this group shows a lot of support and there’s no toxicity. Keep up the love ILGM fam.


Now, to the roots we go. I’m finishing germination now. Tap roots showing (1/4in showing in paper towel) fluctuating 75-77F. Been trying maintain 70% humidity with humidifier running at full capacity, but the carbon filter fan sucks the moisture right up leaving me at 40-45% humidity with fan on. I’ve since turned the carbon filter off for the time being to keep humidity at 60-70%.

What are the best ways you guys have found to raise the humidity in your grows besides buying another humidifier?

Soil. I found myself a bit reluctant to do this but I sanitized my FFOF for 5 min and set to cool for about another 25 min before adding to air pots. I don’t quite understand the repercussions if any I’ll have later on from this. Haven’t done a runoff test but I will tomorrow before I plant. Have I made the soil less hot? I know I probably killed a lot of micro organisms that give OF its name, but also heard fungus gnats in OF (but also many if not all other soils dealing with fungus gnats). I try not to believe everything I read online but I can’t help my self.

I have seen where mixing perlite for aeration and diluting FFOF but would I still need perlite if I’ve diluted the soil from sterilization AND using airpots?

Speaking of airpots, I’ve read that they are best with drip irrigation. Don’t have it. Does that mean I should switch to smart pots instead for optimal water rentention and guess work?

Ventilation- right now, no windows open. Filter fan ducting sitting on top of tent and intake ducting laying on floor, both pointing out of bathroom into the bedroom (trying to stay as stealthy as possible for as long as possible) ANY TIPS OR MUST DOS HERE?

Do I need to add anything besides straight sanitized FFOF?

Would you amend anything you see above?

Did I leave something out?

Thanks again for taking the time and easing my mind. I have a feeling I’ll be very busy with the setup tomorrow lol.

Happy growing!


Close the tent and she’ll build humidity. You can also use a clear dome over the plants to contain your humidity to just that area

Don’t understand sterilizing the soil? Tho I’m not a soil guy so it’s easy to confuse me there.

@blackthumbbetty @CalamityJane @Cannabian
@MrPeat @repins12 @Mrcrabs

Might be able to guide you a little better on that side of your journey


Do you have ph and tds/ppm testers?


Hang a wet towel or two, in your tent, that may help with the RH.
I always add perlite to my soil mixtures, it’s for aeration, not dilution, as you stated.
I have never used air pots, only cloth or Hydro.
@PharmerBob meeters shmeetrs, you know how I feel about chasing numbers but, a good idea for your first run. Get it right, then replicate. Keep notes so, when you get it right, you can replicate.
Hope this helps :v:t4:


Hey @Caseybmh :wave: Good to meet you!

Thanks for the tag @PharmerBob :v:

I do grow in soil but it’s just a peat moss mix I picked up from the local gardening centre and added my own perlite and other goodies. Never used FFOF and unfortunately can’t comment on that or this ‘sterilisation’ thing - which is new to me :woman_shrugging:

Also never used ‘airpots’. I think they’re recommended for use with a drip irrigation system. Not necessarily hydroponics but some type of irrigation system. You’d have to do more research into the best way to water them without this. I can’t see it would be a massive issue though.

I do agree with @repins12 it’s worth getting some PH/TDS metres for your first grow but there are many out there that never use them and do just fine. Personally I’d get them if it’s your first time at the rodeo. :ox:

Yep keep tent zipped up for humidity and use a dome over the seedling to keep that RH up around them.

One thing I’m not sure of is keeping your air intake on the floor… lots of dust and cr@p could get sucked in?

Nice looking set up you have there!

Good luck, my friend. I’ll be watching along.
CJ. :v:


You could use a panty hose or something over your intake, if you want to prevent dust and crap. I would keep intake low though, that is where the coolest air is, otherwise you will just be recirculating warm air. Just my humble opinion :v:t4:


Ah @repins12 you make a good point re the cool air! Also good idea with the homemade ‘filter’! :smiley::+1:

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Not sure what you mean by sterilization “dilutes” it? Perlite and sterilization serve 2 seperate purposes.
Sterilization kills off all living organisms in the soil. If anything, that eventually releases more nutrients into the medium via all the little dead things decomposing. Did you flush the medium before sterilization? Or did you wet it just enough before applying heat?

Perlite is a good idea to add for water retention, drainage, and aeration.

Fungus gnats are easily prevented by follow good water practices, ie, don’t over water.

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I’ve heard of this. Makes sense. Will do!

I never boil my soil. I have had no issues, period. I run FFOF now with a top dressing of FFHF. The FFHF allows a little barrier against the hot FFOF.

Boiling it killed what beneficial insects off. If you had them. I have never had an issue with insects with any FF soil.


Hey @PharmerBob thanks for all the tags! Yep tents been closed just open for the picture of inventory. Gonna use @repins12 idea with the wet towels and gonna pick up some domes if I can find some. Thank you much.


I have ph and tds. Just ordered EC and ppm. Should be in the next few days @PharmerBob. :slight_smile:

You can cut any lid off a clear bottle, just make sure to rinse it out thoroughly

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Ah sweet. Makes sense. Will do.

I’ve heard of this panty hose trick. Makes sense. Will do @repins12

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Good to hear no issues with FF @MrPeat and yeah I know I killed off some good stuff. Yeah I keep hearing about the mix of HF and OF. Might move to hydro on next grow but if not, will definitely try this mix FF blend

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Hey @blackthumbbetty thanks for tuning in! What I did with the sterilization is wet the soil then brought to a brief boil for about five minutes. I’ve seen people boil for 30 min but that just seemed like overkill.

I would of thought sterilization would be a way of dilution just because of it boiling off some of the micro organisms and breaking down some of the nutrients in the soil. Also thought it would considered a flush of the soil if you will. Didn’t hear that from anywhere just made sense in my brain. Let me know what you know!
Thanks a ton!

Hey @CalamityJane ! Thanks for joining me and US. I know I wouldn’t be able to have the best chance of success without all of you. Seriously, hats off.
Yep, tent stays closed. Just open for the picture of inventory. Show ya what I’m working with if you will.

Going to put panty hose on intake laying on floor I believe mentioned by @repins12. Gonna take your advice to though and try elevate the duct somehow.

Thanks for the compliments too. Quite proud of the set up so far. Though I did get most of my recommendations from “From Seed to Stoned” Channel on YouTube. He deserves some credit.

Props to @PharmerBob again too for the tag. Glad to have you along CJ


@Caseybmh I just place the FFHF on top of the FFOF. I don’t mix it together. Just top dress the grow pots you use.

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Ok to the OP… Fox Farms products are not real soil… just to clear up the confusion… these products are made with components like a built up super soil. Real soil is made specifically by decomposed material mixed with mineral soils and clays etc.
The manufacturers typically pre sterilize peat as forbuse as a base. Contamination is possible though with non sterilized or potentially a dirty pot is used or bugs have been allowed to hitchhike on the gower into the grow area.
Fox Farms products come pre loaded with enough nutrients to keep a plant healthy for around 6 weeks after which it becomes no different that Promix except that pkants use some nutrients faster than others, this causes imbalanced medium. Typically, most of these types of soils are designed to switch to a plant food regimen after the 6 week period. Some consider it wise to do a quick flush prior to this feed schedule to balance the soil. Others pot up at this stage into fresh FF product which restarts the clock on feed for another 6 weeks. The issue with this is the plants are now feeding much more aggressively and personally I think FF is not enough for fast feeding plants, because when the plants have eaten all their food, soon after deficiencies start to show up… I think its better to treat this as a medium after the first 6 weeks and simply switch to a feeding schedule even if you pot up into straight promix hp.