Grow journal #1

Wanted to start a grow journal here for all insight the community might have. The great thing about this plant is even under poor conditions, it will still yield decent results. I want to improve though! Any ideas, advice, comments are greatly appreciated. If you see something that you would do different, please let me know what and why. Of course there are multiple factors to consider like obtusiveness or cost but it may serve someone else or even myself if things change down the road.

Starting out with 3 feminizes strains from Nirvana Seeds. 2 Blue Dream, 2 BlackJack, 2 Pure Power Plant. Running a perpetual harvest in a 2x4 veg tent and 4x4 flower. King Full spectrum LED 1500 watt (not true watt I’ll have to research the exact but I think around 250 or 300 respectively) in veg and a 2000 watt king led in flower. 290 max cfm intake and exhaust with a 6inch viviosun carbon scrubber on exhaust being pushed (I know I know but hanging is super sketchy and would be a pain to run enough duct to clean both tents on one scrubber).

I have 3 circulating fans in the flower tent and 2 in the veg - all but the one in flower that is 12 inches are 6 inch clip on desk fans. I’m growing in attic based on my situation from where I live, and to consider my wife. I do have exhaust coming from the ground of heated/cooler living space which helps cool the tent during the hotter months but built a red neck a/c as well (cooler with frozen ice etc) that cools the air right before entering the tents. It is a labor of love but gets me where I need to go.

I use flora series nutes with cal mag, bloom city silica during veg then stop the silica when switch to flower and start adding organic black strap molasses. I’d love to know what mix rates people use for the flora series in soil?

Soil is Firefox happy frog as base with added perlite and wormcastings as amendments (about an extra 10% perlite and 5% worm castings). I usually transplant twice, from solo cup to 2 gallon pot then to a 5 gallon smart pot. I feel this gives me the best root ball but I’m sure it adds a week per transplant for veg.

I appreciate everyone’s time in reading this novel and offering any feedback at all in advance.


Welcome to the forum! Seems like you have a pretty good handle on things. If you weren’t already, I would plan on using both of those lights to flower a 4x4. Otherwise let us know if there’s any way we can help


Thanks @dbrn32 for that advice - I’m trying to do a perpetual harvest so need the 1500w for the veg tent but I will buy another 2000w for flower tent to insure I have plenty of light for the girls. I was questioning that myself especially since LED manufacturers love to hide true watt as best they can so the fact you brought this up reassures my first instinct. I’m liking the King lights for price point (220$ for the “2k watt”) but wish I had more experience with other lights to know if they are truly as good as I think they are. Just looking for a quality light to grow a quality end product for personal use. Thanks again for taking the time to offer feedback - greatly appreciated. Going to upload some pics of the young ones as well as the bag seed in flower I started on my first run to get back into the swing of things… can’t believe they survived as I was running with rates on the bottle vs feed chart for DWS!

Live and learn then roll one and burn :wink:

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First run in varied stages - anything that was in normal lighting was taken before trimming/training… should have taken before and after pics

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I can help you with lights, its kinda my thing. Don’t run out and buy another fixture, when you’re ready let me know and I’ll helo you get something good.


Hi - I think the #1 thing to keep your thumb down on during a grow is to buy a cannabis friendly soil or soilless medium and then monitor and manage the pH and ppms for the water/nute solution going in, and measuring the water runoff and adjust the next watering to ensure it’s in the proper pH range and the ppms are at a stable level. Good luck!

Also, I have one of the 1500W kingleds. It’s been good in a 2x2 tent space for me in vegetation. It will be tough though to keep the sides of a 2x4 well lit if you center the light in the middle.

@dbrn32 yes please any info you can share would be greatly appreciated. I have been checking out hipargero cob led 800w thinking to add 2 of them to the flower tent in addition to the 2000w King. What are your thoughts on something like that? If you would go in another direction, what would that be?

So @Sixpackdad you bring up a good point - and something I have been neglecting. I use cannabis friendly soil - happy frog for the most part (this past grow that’s in flower I used 75% happy to 25% ffof before admending with perlite and worm castings). I do monitor ph, (tap water is between 7.9-8.0 typically) and ph up to between 6.3-6.6 after nutes are added to water. Usually it’s around 6 so not much ph up needed. Is this completely necessary if using virgin soil? Wouldn’t the ph remain stable with happy frog for a complete grow of say 100 days without ph up from 6.0 to 6.5ish? Especially since I transplant 3 times so a large majority is virgin soil? I’ve been going with yes but question the acid being more detrimental than benificial. Love to hear everyone’s thoughts on that.

I need to get a ppm meter have not checked the EC for this entire run :dizzy_face:


The babies :wink:image

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I haven’t grown in happy frog or ocean forest. I do know that the soil I use Roots Organics potting soil does claim to buffer the pH to 6-6.3 no matter what it is going in. I would guess there is some sort of shelf life on the buffering capability. I pH to 5.8, regardless, because it is a coco/perlite medium and the website suggests that is OK.

But I don;t know if FF makes the same claim or not. I would pH at 6.5 and try to keep that input as stable as possible. More important is knowing the pH and ppms of the runoff. Happy Frog has goodies in it to, not as hot as Ocean Floor but its primary ingredient is humus.

If you want to stick with leds I would get into something a little more higher end using white diodes for flowering. You can do this a number of ways, but all will likely cost a little more money than the fixture you mentioned.

For a no bs best bang for your buck lighting setup in 4x4 i really like two of horticulture lighting groups quantum board 260xl kits. I’m not sure what your budget is, but they run about $350 if you assemble yourself. Growerslights will assemble and test for $35, but assembly isnt that big of deal. If you have wire strippers and Phillips screwdriver I think it takes average cat about an hour to do, and there’s YouTube video on assembly. Back to the budget thing, even if it’s a little tight i think buying one in conjunction with light you have would be a really good setup for now. You can always run a couple of grows and decide to add another later if you want.

If you have money to burn there are certainly other options that offer a little more performance. But the amount of money spent to what you’re getting for it really tightens up. As far as the majority or inexpensive lights available on Amazon, you’re not really saving any money with them. Buying them is just paying for a lot less performance. They use significantly less efficient components. And despite what most claim, even some of the very expensive lights on Amazon have been tested in integrated sphere as to being less efficient than hps on a per watt basis.

@SilentHippie runs two of the lights i suggested in a 4x4 and just harvested. If you wanna take a look at his journal for results I’ll link it below


Fantastic info - I will take a look at @SilentHippie whole grow as there looks to be a ton of helpful bits and bobs in there. I can really tell the difference from his week 5/6 compared to mine. I know multiple factors are involved there like strain and conditions but the lighting must be much more ideal. Question @dbrn32 350$ would be the cost of half of his setup since he has 2 boards per “light/light bar” so he has 700$ worth of lighting for that 4x4 tent? The 350$ Gets 2QBs and he’s using 4 in total, 2 per “light fixture”?

Wiring shouldn’t be a problem, installed a few outlets and wired all appliances in new house with no issues. Can’t be too complicated just solid connections with black white and ground id assume like 14/2.


You got it, $350 per fixture and two fixtures per 4x4. You’re right about comparing your grow to anyone else’s. Experience is really the biggest factor, but that plays inti every other aspect. Spending a shit ton of money on equipment isn’t going to make the weed grow itself. But if you do enough right and will make a pretty big difference.

Here’s a good way to look at it. You can spend something like $2000 on a led light for a 4x4. Even in the $1300+ range there are some really nice lights. There are some differences when compared to this $700 setup, but you’re not going to see double the results for double the money. As opposed to working with $100-$200 amazon fixtures, you’re going to spend $700 anyway to get good results with them. And they’re probably going to consume a good amount more in power to get to similar light levels.

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Makes perfect sense - law of diminishing return on investment. Would you personally go with 2 260xl kits vs 1 600w qb288 v2? If nothing else to more evenly spread the par utilizing my one 2000w king led in addition to? Looks like 100$ more is the obvious increase but also no way to even out in 2 lights vs 3 with the 1 600w fixture.

Thanks for taking the time on your Sunday to answer these questions - I honestly would have been happy to get answers in time for my next grow…let alone same day! You’re a rockstar brother!


The hlg-600 is more light, but it’s also a pretty tight fixture and heatsink runs really hot anywhere near full power. It’s still a good light for the money, but i prefer the two 260xl kits in your situation.

If you get two of the kits, you wouldn’t really need to run your king light in there with them either.

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Just an update - ordered one of the 260w xl qb288 kits @dbrn32 suggested to me and I can’t wait til it gets here. Has some great reviews online from ppl who have been growing much longer than myself. Like game changing reviews! Thank you homie no telling how much time, money, effort you have saved me with this information. Invaluable!!

I’ve also ordered a few products to assist with what I’ve already been using. AN sensizyme, mykos mycorrhiza, AN big bud, and AN bud candy. Any warnings or tips for these products is greatly appreciated.

I think for my current 2 plants 6weeks into flower might be too late for the big bud but the 3rd that’s on week 2 would be good to use for one or two feedings. Would sensizyme be ok to use for all 3 plants in flower to clean up the root mass of any decay? Would bud candy be helpful or not since I’m already using blackstrap molasses (5ml per gallon)?

My current babies will be getting transplanted today/tomorrow and I’ll be skipping the 2 gallon pots to move straight into 5 gallon smart pots. My plan is to convert to coco after this grow so would like to use a blend of about 15% coco to ffhf to finish these ladies out…any issues with this besides a thorough flush and test ppm (yes @Sixpackdad, I finally purchased a ppm pen, embarrassed it took me this long lol) to insure all nitrates have been removed before adding to soil mix?

Thank you guys, hope everyone has a great wake and bake wendesday!


Sweet! Hopefully your experience is in line with everyone else’s.

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Hey @dbrn32 - just got both 260w xl kits in (yeah went ahead and snagged another while it was available). Have one up and running everything looks good about to wire up the second. In your experience, is it necessary to add a piece of acrylic or plexiglass to shield diodes from water dirt etc? Haven’t seen anyone online do it besides the guy at micro YouTube… not sure if he was going OTT or if it was recommended by experienced users as well. Thanks, can’t wait to throw them into the flower tent at midnight! (Lights on time)


Not necessary unless you plan on hosing them down.

New lights up and running. Moved both kings to veg tent for now. Love the new an lights. Everything feels well made, no bs, no frills but extremely precise and functional. Glad I ended up putting kit together myself so I could take notice of the small details.

Veg tent - starting to do some lst. Fimmed all but the top middle. She was showing signs of mag deficiency so upped the cal mag plus and left all natural. Most had started showing signs of deficiencys all be it very minor. I started feeding at full strength and all seem to be responding beautifully - I would usually still be at half strength of recommended mix rate on gh chart but if that’s what they need so be it.

Flower - tomorrow 2/27/19 will be week 7 (not including giving them a week for stretch). How are they looking? Ran with too much nitrogen so will watch that closer on this next round… how long you guys thinking? Maybe 2 weeks before starting flush? Added some overdrive to try and get them to put on the weight over these last few weeks… getting excited!! :drooling_face:

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