First Indoor Grow- I need help

Hello everyone, and hope everyone is safe. Please look at what i have got and see my questions below. Thank you for taking the time to help me!

Tent 4x2x5(,L,W,H)
Light-Exlenvce 1500w 1200w LED Grow light. (amazon)
Vent-AC Infinity RAXIAL s4- inline booster duct fan w/Controller.
4 gallon Buckets- 3 of them
I purchased the beginner pack from this site. Feminized seeds of AK47,White Widow, and Bubble Gum ( Not auto flower).

My questions are:
is this a decent starter set?
I need to pick a soil and on a budget,I bought miracle grow bloom feed( 6 months of feeding) bag, and see its got bad reviews. Whats a cheap productive soil?
What Light cycle with this set up is best? 18/6 or 12/12?
How do I, or do i need to Force the flowering stage?
I have a budget left, did i miss something?
am worried about the height of the plants and was going to “crop” the top after a few full leaves are grown in, is 5 feet enough, or should i clip the top?

The internet is filled with information I have researched, and I think am over-whelmed and just need tips on my set up and how to get the best of what I got.

Thank you,
-Zee

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Hello Zee, Let me see if I can answer some of your questions

Yeah, miracle grow anything (soil, nutes) is to be avoided. Try to find some Fox Farms Happy Frog or Ocean Forest, or Light Warrior, or a Promix soil.

Light cycles are for stage of growth, many growers start their seeds on 24/0 to keep temps warm and stable for sprouts, then go to 18/6 for the vegetative growth stage. When you want to start flowering, you go to 12/12. The light change to 12/12 is what forces flowering for non-autos.

You left fertilizer out, you will need something to feed your plants. Fox Farms Trio is a good place to start for nutes that are not too expensive.

At 5 feet of height, yes you should be concerned with not letting the plants get too tall, topping them will help with that, also look into SCROG and LST, techniques to keep plants short. With 5 feet, you lose a foot for the light at the top, lose another foot or more for the buckets, leaves less than 3 feet not counting wanting 18" inches or so space between light and plants.

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You’ll also want a PH meter, some PH up and PH down to adjust your water PH to 6.5

This type, not the one with long metal stick on it

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I SCROG and can run out one plant in that exact tent. The first bit of advice to add to the good stuff above: start with one plant. Read up on how to Supercrop and Top or FIM. Restraining the height is absolutely necessary in such a short grow space.

You might even consider, if you have the space, to buy a 3’ X 3’ X 84" tent to flower in if you need to do more than one plant. (Flowering plants take up more space than in veg)

PH meter, TDS meter (NOT one of those cheezy 3 in 1 meters which are worthless). Depending on water quality in your area may want to invest in R/O system.

Home Depot sells Black Magic (overpriced)
Amazon has Roots Organics and Fox Farms.

I might also suggest fabric pots instead of buckets. The buckets can be used for watering.

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@Hellraiser. @Myfriendis410. I ordered the PH tester So if the seeds say they flower at 9 weeks, 9 weeks I should switch to the 12/12?

I can afford a new tent, looked at amazon and don’t see any at 3x3x7. However found a 3x3x80", is that good enough?or another site i should look at? If i go to the taller tent, is still suggested i crop the top? I would want to grow 2 at a time.

Thank you both for your valued suggestions, you have helped me! I should have reached out sooner. My seeds should be here this weekend.

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3 X 3 X 80 is fine.

The plant will dictate when it’s ready to flower by signaling sexual maturity. It will produce spikes (stipules?) when it does; here’s an illustration.

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No, they mean the plant will take 9 weeks of flowering (12/12 light cycle) to be ready for harvest.

Typically you have 2 weeks of sprout stage, then 1 to 3 months of veg growth (depending on how big you want them), then the flowering stage of 8 to however many weeks it takes to finish (like your seeds say 9 weeks). A quick grow can be done in 3-4 months total, from seed to harvest.

In a 3x3 tent, I usually do 3 or 4 plants in 7 gal fabric pots, topped for multiple colas. Keeps them shorter and more yield over the natural “christmas tree” style growth that would happen if not topped.

Like this

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@Hellraiser beautiful girls! I admire your work! What vent system are you running?

@Myfriendis410- thanks a lot. So the longer I keep in veggie stage, the bigger the plant.

I want a short cycle, any tips on how tall you get them, before you switch to flowering?

Everything you both have recommended I will be doing!

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Good lighting, good genetics and time. There are some fast flowering strains out there but you have to take them all with a grain of salt. The only fast way to grow that I’m aware of is a perpetual grow with a mother plant producing clones. You can harvest about every 3 months doing that.

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@Zee, Thanks, I use a 6" AC Infinity Cloudline S6, great exhaust fan, highly recommend the AC Infinity line.

Those plants took about 8 weeks to get to that size and was topped once and are about 2 feet tall at this point, This is about the size where I would flower them. So this grow in total was 8 weeks (veg) + 10 weeks of flowering, so a total of 18 weeks, a bit over 4 months. But I have multiple tents so I harvest every 10 weeks or so.

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Welcome to the community !Not much left to say except you got solid advice from two Advanced growers.
Happy growing.

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@Hellraiser are you just using one infinity fan? I bought soil and the trio fertilizer yesterday! New tent tomorrow.

@Zee, I was a little incomplete in my answer as i got distracted. I use the infinity fans (I have one on both my veg tent and my flower tent) to air-cool my 600 watt hps/mh lights and to exhaust hot air from the tent. In the flowering tent, I also have a carbon filter. I have one tent that exhausts into my attic and another that exhausts out a window using a AC window exhaust kit (fills the gap of the open window and gives you a hole to attach your ducting). Inside the tents I have 2 fans hanging above the canopy to move air around, you can see the bottoms of the 2 white fans in the pic above.

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@Hellraiser @Myfriendis410 Thank you again, you’re both mentoring my grow.A few more questions and this post will go dead for a few weeks till am ready to update with progress and pics.

Lighting- Is lighting about coverage/tent size or about the # of plants you have growing?

Am far away, but can you share your thoughts on drying? I heard drying and curing is a must, and heard drying is enough? Whats is your method.

@kellydans- Thank you for the warm welcome and reassurance!

Stay safe, thank again for your time, i will keep you posted.

-Zee

Minimum 7 days to get to 62%, give or take and I try for 10 days. Low 60’s temp and 50+ % RH. Keep air moving in the dry space and should be dim if not dark. The plant will continue to consume harsh sugars for some time after the chop.

Cure in jars (or in new buckets if large amount) burping the container once or twice a day for a couple of weeks and then maybe once a week for a few more weeks. Toxic gasses accumulate in the container. That’s why you burp jars.

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@Zee drying and curing is one of the most important steps When drying and curing is complete. you want that flavor and Aroma to come out. And not smell or taste like hay . @Myfriendis410. Has got you covered.

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@Hellraiser I’m also a newb. Can you explain why you’d want this type of meter opposed to one with prongs that go into your soil? Also, how do you test the ph of your soul with a meter like that, mix the soil in the water? I’m a little confused, forgive my ignorance on the matter.

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@Firewater, the one with the prongs that go in the soil are horribly inaccurate, usually they always say 7.something regardless of the actual ph of the soil. I rarely test the ph of the soil, because I really don’t have to, as I never have ph problems, well not in 20 years anyway. The ph of the soil is going to be influenced by the ph of the water you put in it. I ph my water/nute mix to 6.5 every time so I know what the ph of my soil is going to be (around 6.5). But you can water the plant with ph’d water, then collect some runoff water and test the ph of that, which will tell you what’s going on with the ph of the soil. You can also dig out a little soil (few inches down) and mix with water and test the ph of that, which is called a slurry test.

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@Hellraiser thank you very much for the detailed explanation. I’ve heard mention of the slurry test but had no clue how to administer it. So…basically if you have decent soil, I have FF ocean and “kind” soil, you basically just have to monitor the ph of the water going IN the pot as that will dictate what the overall ph is going to be. Awesome, thanks for the insights man you’re a beast. This forum has been a Godsend for me in terms of info. Of course you’ve got your soilers vs hydros, domers vs non domers but overall the information in this forum is beyond any monetary value. Thanks again bud

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@Firewater, Yes, starting with good soil (Fox Farms, Promix, etc…) goes a long way to not having ph problems, then just ph your water mix every time and you’ll rarely have any ph issues which can cause all sorts of deficiencies when it locks out certain nutes.

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