Long time reader first time grower

Hey all long time reader first time grower.
So basically I am starting my first grow after reading as much as I think I can without jumping in and getting my hands dirty

So this is a super budget what I have lying around setup.
I have 2x 150w 5500k cfl for veg/clone room set to 20/4. Veg cabinet/room is 900x400x450mm.
They have a 2.5w usb fan blowing air over lights so as to be as close to plants as possible currently within 60mm. There are 2 40mm vent holes currently passive, waiting on pc fans.
I have made my own mix of soil with a small Coco coir brick about 1/3, blood and bone, mushroom compost, yates potting mix with dynamic lifter, chook poop, coffee grounds, perlite about 1/3 and Seasol health treatment.

My flower room will run a 70w HPS 2050k, 30w t5 led red/blue 3-1 and 3x23w 2700k cfl spirals. The space is 1000x450x650mm. Same ventilation setup and going to have small osilating fan. I plant on using Coco, mushy, perlite, seasol health, coffee grounds and am not sure as to what is a good organic P-K thinking coconut milk/water?

Ok so that is that covered quick run down of how and why I have the setup this way. It started with me getting nuggets filled with seeds and getting over the bs of the bm, so after discussing this with the better half she agreed that i could support my own medical needs IF and only IF I could do it for next to nothing start up and be super stealth, classic issues. So I proceeded along my way scavenging what I had around that will suffice until I can get a harvest and see the short comings of each piece. I had 70w Eliptical HPS sitting in the shed from a garden light my grand dad gave me, ballast and all so was a natural first stop, so that being done i also had some photography lighting equipment around hence 2x150w 5500k cfl. I dug around the house and found a 3 pack of 23w 2700k spirals, perfect. As all my lighting hunt was happening an owl gave me the t5 leds, they brought them on a drunken whimsy, works for me I thought, free perfect price.
The monster in law had an old clothes cabinet one side with 4 drawers and a shelf, the other (flower room) a tiny closet to hang clothes, coming in at a woping $0. So i gutted out most of the draws, still using one as plant platform, painted the inside matte white best i could with small tin of paint found in shed.
In total i think I Spent $30 at Bunnings on medium coco, potting mix etc.

Long winded story but now the questions and hopefully suggestions of alterations/improvements

Firstly, my seedlings are in their first week of veg but do not look the size of most growlogs i have read, their leaves have been yellowing at the tips what am i doing wrong? Fed with plain water since germy
Also should I suppliment with calmag and what organic options do i have?

Also what should I add as organic P-K during flower? I was thinking about coconut milk or water read some good things

Ans just any other suggestions or advice would be super
Sorry for terrible picture quality
Cheers, Nreeg

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Well first I’ll say good work on getting a setup going for super cheap. I’m still new to so no real input for growing. I’m guessing your from Australia since the other Australians are the ones I’ve seen reference Bunnings. So welcome from the US and good luck with the first grow.

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Thanks for the welcome. Good luck with your endeavors too. Dunno about you but has been a fun project so far

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Yes it is. I spent months here reading and getting to know everyone while slowly buying everything I needed. My first grow is only about 2 weeks old and I’m already planning the second one lol.


Congratulation welcome aboard and soon you find how addicting this is. I just harvested 2 plants and can’t wait to start my next. with the people here to help guide you your going to do fine

Welcome to the forum. There are a bunch of great folks here.

You need more light. You will be able to grow weed, but it will be airy and wispy and not much yield for your efforts. Like the meme: spending 3 months of your life to save $2 on tomatoes haha. If you are going to invest the TIME (which IMO is far more valuable than money or stuff) then I believe you should maximise the investment by providing the proper environment for your plants.

The rule of thumb is: 50 watts from the wall! to give the correct amount of light indoors.

@dbrn32 is our lighting guy and has helped all levels of personal grow spaces.


I think if nothing else you could some lighting that takes up less room in the small spaces. Someone mentioned above you may be in Australia? That would be right in cutter electronics backyard, a good source for diy led components.

@NreeG Hi and welcome.

Based on what you used for your soil - a mix of coco and other organic nutrients - I do not think the issue is that you need more nutrients, calmag or otherwise. The mixture seems “hot” and ready to go. Seedlings get a lot from their initial seed and do not need a lot of nutes. I and many others have given their plants a little extra stress early on because of adding nutes to hot soil.

If you are using a cocobased “soilless” soil, the pH of the water you are feeding it needs to be around 5.8. The seedlings don’t need nutes, but always pH after nuting. Also be careful not to overwater.

Your current lighting is sufficient for the seedlings. You have some time to evaluate what you want to to for flowering, when you need to amp up light to get those dense buds.

As far as nutes go, there’s a lot of options and you do not need to spend a lot of money. I’ve never heard anything about coconut milk, interesting.

good luck,

Welcome aboard !! I have a similarly described old beat up armoire…that would make a great growing cabinet. I may have to explore that as a future option, I’ll keep an eye out as to how it works out for you !! Good Luck !!!

I have seen a few led grows that worked out alright, fo you have a link or someone i can follow up with please?

From what i have read 50w per sqft is sufficient but would like to know what you mean as to 50w from the wall? As i will have around 200w from the wall not counting for ballasts etc

Thanks for the welcome mate
I should have mentioned I only just transplanted to the pots and mix they are in now, they are day 5 of the veg cycle, from what i understand that is about 2 weeks after germination and when true leaves show.

Thanks mate maybe don’t take my results as this is my first attempt at any of this. Idea was hopefully for a ‘‘perpetual grow’’

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LED lights often are advertised with an “equivalent” rating. So on Amazon, you will see a 1500W equivalent LED, but it only has an actual “wall draw” of 285W - this is the actual amount of power it really uses. I have a 45W wall draw LED that is advertised as a 150W equivalent.

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The pots you are using are kinda big for your plant size. You should be ok, just be careful to avoid overwatering. I try to keep mine in solo cups for two weeks after the sees pop out of the ground. This gives them some time to develop a root base. I then transplant to a 2 or 5 gallon pot.

How’s the leaf yellowing and what pH level is the water you are watering with? What kind of soil were they in prior to transplant?

We’re not allowed to link from there, but a web search of cutter electronics will get you there. Mark is the guy you’d be looking for, but their website is fairly descriptive.

If you get the right leds your plants will far surpass anything you’re going to do with cfl’s and a small hps bulb.

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When I read it, it was just funny that I had one almost as you described in the garage collecting junk…3 drawers left side with a shelf above an small space below, with the hanger section on the right being about 24 x 30.I just didn’t think the flooring in mine would support the weight. But its something for me to consider in the future.

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@Sixpackdad and @dbrn32 got you hooked up. We’ve all tried using less light and it hasn’t worked out for any of us haha! Yeah; the lighting (led) manufacturers on Amazon are essentially lying to you. They tell you: this light has 100, 10 watt leds so it’s 1,000 watts! No: they run them at some low driver value like 200 watts. So your lights are dimmed down to 20% of total output.

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Just read through your grow journal it’s awesome so far, those boards seem good… what are your thoughts?

Hey @Sixpackdad I need to get ph kit, been waiting for couple weeks now should be friday. Have been boiling water and leaving it cool dunno what ph my tap water is though.
They were in just coco and perlite in little strawberry pots prior to transplant and had roots filling pots, also left the medium mixed up for 2 weeks before transplant to make it less hot. Leaf yellowing is still there but repairing/slowing.

@Myfriendis410 As far as the leds go it is 30w from the wall they are cheap pos lights but the hps is actual hps 70w plus ballast and cfl say 23w on housing and box 60w eqv so that means 69 actual watts.

Heya @dbrn32 i checked out cutter, they happen to be a couple towns over not far at all. However quite expensive for what I would need, looking few hundred not quite in my budget. Tight as it sounds is there a led to your knowledge that can perform in a 1.5x2ft cabinet under $200. Btw i am not great with electronics so diy is possible if someone were to step by step instructions for me and prepare for some probably stupid questions

@PetesCloset a piece of marine/form ply or yellow tongue would probably fix that easy enough

So time for an update. I made a cardboard reflector today, tested with lux meter on phone and apparently tripled+ output, heat seems ok, we’ll see in time but. Reading went from 2200lux to 8900lux.
Set up the lights in veg box a bit nicer, used some fencing wire as adjustable hanger tied onto hooks in ‘‘roof’’ of the room. Also got better runoff catchment tray.


Thanks man glad to hear someone reads my nonsense lol. I learned all I know here. It isn’t a lot without experience to back it up. But the people here are fantastic and incredibly smart. I built my light with the help of dbrn32. He knows his stuff when it comes to lighting. Depending on what you can afford he should be able to recommend a DIY build that would work great and be cooler than what you have now. Heat is my biggest concern as summers here are hot and I’ll need to add ac which is money spent to buy and run it.

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