First Time Grower Mistakes, White Widow Auto, Indoor, Soil, 400W HPS+400WMH

I bought the WWA beginner complete set in November 2016. After a delay, I began growing in late September 2017. I am a first time grower and wanted to document how things have gone so far. I have made some mistakes along the way, but the hardy plants have held it together.

My grow room is a 33"x46"x7’ tiled shower. The walls are mylar’ed and the room is sealed with a makeshift door (duct tape holds it together). To start, the 400W MH lamp (17 year old bulb is replaced a month later, reflective hood with available HPS hookup on other side, no glass partition, dual HPS/MH magnetic ballast) was used at 18/6 cycle. A 120CFM 4" fan exhaust is connected to the MH side of the lamp. A 120CFM 4" fan is on the intake feeding at the bottom of the room. Both exhaust and intake are ducted to the outside. A fan, heater w/ thermostat,and humidifier w/ stat are are also installed. I’ve been using the flower power fertilizer. I have three thermometers and one hygrometer in the setup. This photo is pre-mylar while I was in construction.

First mistake: I “forgot” these seeds were autoflower. I thought they were straight up fem and don’t realize this until a month later. I originally intended to go a 4-way LST with SCROG.

I have been using flower power fertilizers that came with the set. Instead of measuring grams as recommend in the user guide,I have added the nutes until the EC increased by the noted amount. So if the guide says the EC should be 2000 and I am using 400 EC tap water, I add nutes until the EC is 2400. I have no idea if this is right or wrong. If I use the grams recommended the EC is much lower than the user guide says it should be. I then used ph down to get the ph to 6.0 to 6.5.

Regarding temp control - I have struggled with this. I have had highs up to 108 and lows down to 52. The high temps were dependent on the outside temp, but greatly increased once i added the 400W SV lamp.

Humidity control - the humidifier has a control that has been effective. I kept the humidity around 70% early. As the season got colder and outside humidity dropped, the humidifier helps keep the room around 40%. Without the humidifier, the room drops below 20%

Pictures - some of the quality is bad, my iphone and ipad cameras struggle in the HID lighting.

The set comes with bug blaster, mold control, and root protector solutions. I have never had to use these. I think the hardiness of the WWA plants is the reasons I haven’t had too.

Journal based on my handwritten notes ans text exchanges back and forth with my friend.
9/23 - I put 8 seeds in water for an overnight soak
Mistake?: I used hard tap water for the soak. ph ~8, EC~380

9/24 - I planted the seeds in individual solocups,each sliced four ways down the side, partially down the bottom and taped around the top of the cup to hold it together. MiracleGrow Natures Choice was used for soil. Each seed was planted and water with tapwater
Mistake?: I used straight tap water; I am not sure if Natures Choice has slow release nutes or not

9/26 - I get my pH, TDS, and ph up/down solutions.

9/27-10/2 - five of eight seeds sprouted between this time frame. The remaining three seeds ended up being duds. I gave one plant to a friend, leaving me with 4 plants.

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Mistake? - I suspect using 8ph tap water had an impact on the germination rate. I say this because this November I germ’d 10 seeds successfully using ph6.5 tap water

9/28 - I water all plants with the “start” flower power nutes with a total of 1/2 liter. Tap water EC was 370. Final EC and Ph were 840 and 6.4.
Mistake? - most forums warned about feeding too soon. I didn’t seem to have any issues.

10/4 - watered again with start - tap EC 300, final EC and pH 1800 and 6.4.

10/5 - I raised the plants up to about 6inches from the lamp. They seemed to be stretching and were about 18" from the lamp.

10/6 - I start trying to use a DIY CO2 generator with a 2 liter bottle, 3 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar and a teaspoon of yeast.
Mistake? - I can’t confirm if this has provided any value, but I have kept using this, replacing the solution once a week. It’s probably sucked out of the exhaust ventilation before the total CO2 levels can increase, but perhaps every little bit helps?

10/7 to 10/15 - I alternate watering between 6.5ph water, no nutes; and start nutes, ~6.3ph, EC increase of 1200 from tap water. About a half liter total between all plants is used. During this time I am concerned about powdery milder(ended up being leftover minerals from water that evaporated on leaves) and nute burn ( a few yellow brown tipped leaves, never spread)

10/16 - 10/17 - as the fifth set of leaves emerged on each plant, and there was room to snip them without damaging the fourth set, the fifth set was snipped off. The room is getting too cold over night,under 60

10/17 to 10/18 - four 5 gallon fabric pots are filled with “root organics” soil. I slice the tape on the solo cup for easy removal and transplant all four plants. The new soil is initially watered with 1 liter of ph6.5 water,no nutes
Mistake? - After watering and transplanting, I became concerned the new soil was too cold and may damage the roots, but nothing detrimental happened.

10/19 - I water each plant with 1 liter of “grow” flower power nute solution. EC increase of 1600 and ph of 6.3. I get a little concerned about nute burn, but no bad affects are seen in the days tocome

10/19 to 11/3 - I water the plants with a “grow” solution (EC increase of 1600 and ph of 6.4) once a week and water with 6.3pH water if soil is dry
Mistake? - during this time I re-calibrate the ph meter and suspect it was reading higher than actual. I see no signs of low pH issues though.

10/27 - after a discussion with a friend whom I gave one plant to, I come to the realization that my plants are autoflower. There are clearly the beginnings of flowering on all four plants. I install the 400W HPS lamp on the same day. I also replace my 17 year old MH with a new lamp (plantmax). I drop the plants about 5 inches to avoid light burn.
Mistake: I did not increase the exhaust. The temps over the next few days skyrocket from high 80’s to above 100 with the HPS on. At a minimum I should’ve moved the exhaust over to the HPS side of the light, as it is much hotter than the MH.

10/21 to 10/22 - I start to see more inter-nodes growth. Plants are about 5" from the bulb

10/25 to 10/26- reconfigured makeshift set up and replaced cooler that was propping up plants with stack-able crates. I hope it will increase circulation and drops temps. I LST the plants by tying down the primary and secondary legs to the side of the fabric pots with string and pins.

10/29 - I relocated the fan and ended up causing some wind burn damage to nearby leaves. One secondary branch is toast.
Mistake: wind carelessness. I knew it was a risk and went with it.

11/1 - I realize the plants with the split tops and wind burn seem to be further along in flowering, perhaps due to stress. Two plants have smaller flowers and seem to be growing still

11/2 - while retraining the primary and secondary legs on each plant, I split two plant tops (I am angry at myself). I tape one together, i leave another split and un-taped as it was only a minor split.

11/2 to 11/3 - in a panic, due to the realization I have autoflowers that were 4-way LST’d, wind/heat burn on two plants,and the two plants with split top, i put 10 WWA, 1 Colorado cookie auto, one OG auto, one NL auto, and one pineapple express auto seed in cups of ph6.3 water for soaking (the four non-WWA seeds are from a friend). On 11/3 they are put in sliced solo cups with roots organic soil that is watered with 6.3pH water. Three had germ’ed in the water already. I don’t plan on topping any. I may do some light LST.

11/3 - to deal with the drop in outside temp, I relocate the heater near the plants. Overnight, it burns two plants and I lose a secondary leg on each of them. I put the heater back to the bottom of the grow room
Mistake: carelessness

11/4 - I begin watering with "bloom"power flower fertilizer. I raise the tap water EC by 2000 to 2400 and bring ph down to about 6.3. Each plant gets a liter. Things are picking up to pickup.

11/7 - of the new 14 plants, 13 have sprouted. The northern lights auto was a dud. I think the germ rate success was due to proper pH used during soaking and initial watering of soil. Old plants have buds.

11/9 - on one of the old plants, I start to see some discoloration and leave curling. Doesn’t appear to be affecting the buds. This is one of the plants with a split top that had experienced burn from the heater prior. It’s buds are the biggest of my plants so far. This is not happening to the other three plants

11/7 - I begin watering new plants with “start”

11/11 - overnight temp gets down to 52, some of the younger plants are mildly damaged

11/12 - There’s been significant growth and budding. Some pistils are starting to redden on one plant

11/15 There is tons of growth. The two plants that had split tops and burned are ahead of the other two.

11/16 - I overhauled my grow room. I got adjustable straps for the hood and have relocated the plants towards the floor and the hood is in the middle of the room now. The heater is up top near the intake and is only on at night. I added a 100 CFM exhaust fan to the HPS side of the hood and out to a vent hole in the door… During construction, I further split one plant top (I am angry at myself again) and I tape it up. I also transplanted all but one new plant into five gallon fabric pots with roots organic soil,each watered with 1 liter of 6.5 pH water. The OG, CC, PE and one WWA are in a pot by themselves. The remaining WWA’s are doubled up in a pot, four pots in total. I gave one WWA away. I also purchased a jewelry lens and can now see the nice clear mushroomed trichomes on the two plants that are further along. The other two don’t have the mushroom tip yet.
Mistake: carelessness during construction - I should’ve moved my plants out of the way. Fortunately,the leg doesn’t seem any worse for the wear.

11/18 - with some adjustment to the heater and putting it on nighttime only, the temps are stabilizing - high 80’s during the day, low 70’s at night. I feed the old plants with “boost” fertilizer, EC raised by 200 EC

11/19 - if you have read all this, thanks. I will continue to post updates.


Welcome! The first thing I’m going to say is, holy cow I got lost in there lol.

No worries though, my reading comprehension is sometimes off in large posts. Congrats on the grow anyway, pics look ok from what I seen. If you have questions about specific items please post them again a little more organized, and I’ll try to help.


I overthought my first grow tremendously. I’m 18 months in now, and my setup is super simple. 2 overhead LEDs in a 4’x2’ tent, 1 fan in addition to intake/exhaust and light fans, coco coir/perlite medium, light water every other day, nutes every other water. That’s it. I could probably get bigger yields if I fussed with it more, but I have a continuous grow for personal use only, so the only time Ive run out since I started is NOW, because I screwed up the dry/cure on my last grow and got bud rot in a bunch of it (but I harvested two plants today, so I’ll be resupplied in a couple weeks, no biggie).

My only suggestion has to do with your comment about the lights screwing up camera/tablet pictures with your lights. I got one of those cheapie clip-on reflector lamps that takes a single light bulb and have it clipped between my lights. When I work in my tent for watering or pics, I just turn off the overheads and use the reflector lamp (with a 60W equivalent CFL) for taking pictures, check-in trichomes, etc.

Sweet setup by the way, a shower setup would be great for a coco coir grow, since you have to water it so much more (but get much bigger plants), no worries about drainage. I have to use a wetvac to get rid of excess water. I learned that lesson the hard way. I had deep drainage pans, so they didn’t overflow into the tent, but I had standing water for a long time, and eventually, I think that’s what caused my first spider mite infestation.

Good luck on the new grow!

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Thanks for taking a look. I wanted to get all my loose notes down and it turned out to be much more than I thought.

I have two minor concerns. This plant has curled leaves. My other three don’t have this issue. It doesn’t appear to be affecting the buds


This one has some yellowing leaves. The condition started last week and seems to have subsided


No problem! The if the yellowing has subsided that was more than likely a feed issue. Those leaves probably won’t change, just monitor the new growth. The curling leaves has more to do with temp swings I would say. If I get some time st work I’ll go back through your original post and take some notes.


Hey nice setup, it’s always sumthin, but at least your observant and learn from mistakes.
Welcome to the forum and happy growing


Yeah, I had leaf curl, and I’m pretty sure that’s due to heat, my temps were pushing 100 at the time.


@Sixpackdad The plant with the leaf issues. is under a different light than the others? Or closer to the light? What light and how close is it?

You wan to keep your temps as steady as possible indoors. Try to keep the day and night between 10 degrees. It would be great if you could check the temps near where that plant is.

Also that link in your first post needs to be removed. They are a competitor to ILGM and their link is not allowed.

Here is a link to a SCROG here on ILGM.

First post Flagged for unapproved link removal.

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@Sixpackdad that was a lot to take in, welcome to grow community. Please edit your post to remove the website link. Happy growing!

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Thanks @Bob31. I have removed the link from the post. I appreciate the heads up and will be more cautious going forward.

The plant is under the same lamps as the other plants. They were under a single 400 mh for about one month. When they began flowering I added the 400w Hps.

Last week I overhauled the set up and increased exhaust. I have been able to stabilize the temps at about 85 day and 70 at night. Prior to this my temps were all over the place. The worst has been a high of 108 and low of 52.

This plant was taller than the others. It was about a 5 inches when it was under the MH lamp only. When I added the HPS I dropped it to about 6 inches below the hood. There is no glass in the hood. It’s open right to the lamps. Here’s a pic of the new setup. The plant tops are still about 10 inches from the bottom of the hood.

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this is about the closest a plant can get without excess heat stress and light burn is the hood vented if so adding glass would help with temps?

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@Donaldj The MH side was always vented with a 120CFM 4" fan and duct. Last Thursday I added a vent fan to the HPS side. It has definitely helped, but so has the recent outside temp drop as the winter cold comes in. My intake comes directly from the outside. Temps for the past few days in the grow room have stabilized at 85day,70 night.

I grow in a shed so recycle heat it’s currently -5c outside and my ladies with no heat except lighting are a nice happy 75f vented hoods are designed to have glass the vent on one side is for intake the other side is for exhaust if you put glass on shade it can pull or push cool air through hood pulling heat away as it goes. In a closed loop fashion straight in straight out I have run 1000w HPS with vent hoods in this fashion at nearly 1’ from my plants with temps in the high 70’s in a 4x4 tent :wink: radiant heat from the light itself only accounts for small amount of heat compared to open bulbs even with fans pulling some heat away constricted air moves faster and also cools more efficiently. image
those are 2 proper applications of vented shades the only reason to remove glass is to change bulbs done properly the only extra heat will be from shade and ballast


I can’t even get my seeds to sprout

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You cross posted this about 5 times. I have responded to you on your topic.

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Thanks @Donaldj for your posts. I am going to get some glass. I can reconfigure easily to the above.

Aside from dimensions themselves, does the glass need to have any special qualities, like being tempered?

I saw a pic of your shed on different post. WOW!


tempered isn’t really needed so long as fan is running heat shock shouldn’t be too bad but probly a decent idea if you consider you may bump and remove it from time to time :slight_smile:

I replaced my reflector with exactly what donaldj showed. It truly helps keep temps down!

Weekend update - More leaves have turned yellow on all my plants. I hit them all with 2 liters of bloom flower power and a half liter of boost today. Below are two questions, pics of each plant and their trichrome, and the support ticket info.

Q1- I have been feeding per the flower power schedule but leaves are turning yellow. Should I be concerned, or should I stay the course?

Q2- I am at day 59. I have seen blogs and posts on ILGM where the WWAs were harvested anywhere between 70 and 110 days. From looking at the trichrome, they look somewhere between clear and milky with defined globes. Any thoughts on when I should switch to flushing the medium? I am concerned that the plants are yellowing and switching over to flush may damage the end product.

Curly - biggest buds, most defined trichrome

Yellow guy - suffering from yellowing leaves, but has big buds

Thin guy - thinnest buds, but started filling out later than curley and yellowguy; trichrome seem less developed

Best guy - my healthiest plant, has experience least amount of stress - no broken braches, heat or wind burn. Seemed to stay in veg a bit longer than the other three and budded later, but the buds are really filling in and the trichrome are developed

Strain; Type, Bag seed, ILGM… name of strain: White Widow Auto ILGM seeds
How many plants: 4
Age from Sprout and Flower: 59 day from sprout, ~31 days from autoflowering
Soil in pots, Hydroponic, or Coco / Brand and type of Medium & Size of Pots: Roots organics original potting soil in 5 gallon fabric pots
How often do you water and how do you determine when to do so? I water 3-5 times per week, 1 liter at a time, determined by weight and dryness of top layer of soil
PH of water and runoff or solution in reservoir: 6.0 to 6.5ph; not enough runoff to measure
What is strength of nutrient mix? EC, or TDS: currently using flower power bloom (twice a week) and boost (once a week); and increase solution by about 2000EC and 200EC respectively.
What brand and products of Nutrients are you using? Strength and how often? Flower power nutrients per recommended schedule and dosage. Started using “start” when they first sprouted
Indoor or Outdoor: Indoor
Indoor type and size of grow area or tent? 33 inch by 46 inch footprint, grow room is 7 feet tall; converted shower
Light system, size and height from plants: Sun system 400W HPS and 400W MH combo, 10 inches from hood base; used MH only first 28 days, both lamps have been on since
Temps; Day, Night: ~85F; 70F
Humidity; Day, Night: ~20-40%
Ventilation system; Yes, No, Size: Yes, 2 120CFM exhaust; 1 120CFM intake
AC, Humidifier, De-humidifier: Humidifier
Co2; Yes, No: No

@bob31 @dbrn32 @Laurap @AnneBonny @Donaldj @Covertgrower @Nug-bug @kushpa @JerseyRed @1BigFella