A few weeks ago I decided to cut the cord on the purchasing of crappy quality and inconsistent availability…
I ordered and received 10 WW seeds and knew this was going to be a crazy learning process. I went to a local Hydo Store and the guy there seemed to be crazy helpful. I told him up front cost wasn’t an issue but I wanted everything I would need to go from start to finish. Luckily I was able to knock him down by 500 on total cost so I spent a grand. I ended up with a 2x4x6.5 tent several 5 gallon buckets, 4 air stones, air pump, net pots, clay pellets, he sold me on a 1000k HID setup with both a MH bulb and HPS bulb with ducting and fan, rockwool cubes, plus general hydroponics flora series nutes with 3 extras (rapid start, liquid koolbloom, and floralicious plus). I did also grab a PH meter and PH+ PH-.
I just realized that this is a story so my apologies…I really picked this guys brain on what needed to be done and he walked me through the setup and how to get started but handed me a GH catalog that has a feeding chart that he said I should follow. (I know otherwise now I think)
First attempt: Complete Noob mistake on germination. Wanted to start with 4 knowing I would have to figure it out as I go. Had no clue about Rockwool and definitely was excited to get started so I mixed up what the chart called for seedling and dunked the cubes several times into the solution then plopped the seeds into the cubes and put them right into my tent with light tray and dome and the whole shebang. 4 days later I realized I kissed $20 goodbye when they hit the surface but immediately turned brown and died off. After messing around with that new PH meter that I hadn’t even touched at this point (I know, I Know…I’m laughing at myself too) I noticed all of my issues at once. First they should not have been in the tent under the dome. Second, I should not have bothered with creating a nute solution for germination so that was a waste. Third which was the biggest was that I didn’t know that the PH of rockwool is crazy high…enough said on that lol. Not to mention that I found out the house I moved into a month ago has hard water therefore a softener so my water quality for growing is crap. I think that covers it.
Second attempt to current situation: Ok, to fix my first mistakes. Went to the grocery store and purchased distilled water. $.50 a gallon so no biggie. Shut my light down and closed the tent. Grabbed my dome and rockwool and headed to my loft. Soaked the cubes in distilled water over the course of a day while at work. Checked PH of cubes and it was at 7.8 so I ph adjusted some more distilled water and let them re soak for 2 hours down to a PH of 6ish. Put 4 more seeds into cubes and put them on the tray with dome and towel. The heat in my loft created a decent humidity on its own I found so it worked out. Felt confident two days later when all 4 had sprouted with one being slightly taller. I checked the bottom of the cubes for roots and 2 of the 4 had them curling into the tray so I decided to transplant. Noticed quickly that 1 of the 4 didn’t have its cotyledon and was just a stem??? When I say Im new to this I mean growing plants in general LOL so bear with me. Scrapped that one because my girlfriend said that it wouldn’t grow without that because its the first two leaves. Now third grade began coming back to me hahaha. The other 3 took off and I was pumped. I had prepared the first week solution for seedling in the bucket ahead of time. At one week the roots had shot down and were multiplying fast. At this point I have my light running at 60% and at about 12" from the tops because I know it’s too intense to be close. Temps in the tent stay at about 75ish.
At the beginning of week 2 I went back to the chart and mixed up 9 more gallons following the recommendations on the chart. I then moved them one at a time from the old solution bucket to a new solution bucket. The PH of the water at this point is 5.6. On day 4 I was reading about using distilled water and realized that I would end up missing necessary nutrients so I flew out to the hydro store and picked up calmag which I hope is enough. Didn’t add it to the current solution though it would be better to wait until complete change. On day 5 I checked the PH level and yes here it comes it was high at 6.8. I checked online and found that its normal which is why you have to check it every day especially with distilled water. Sure enough I started to notice a difference in the leaves. One plant started showing twisted leaves. The largest plant started showing light spots that turned to brown at this point. The smallest plant looks normal which is odd and the PH level is closer to normal in it. Took a look at the roots and there are a ton but noticed that on the one that has twisted leaves there is a brown sediment looking stuff at the tops of the roots. No smell and not slimy and the rest of the roots are still creamy so I assume its nutrients. Over the course of the next day there shows more signs of issues as the tallest plant is showing more yellowish spots to brown closer to the tips of the leaves so I start to suspect nutrient burn. Spent another 3 hours online and found multiple threads stating that the chart should be the MAXIMUM yes just like that capitalized and such lol. Most recommend following a chart that represents half of the original amounts without the three extras I purchased. Should I stop using those? I still at this point had not added in the calmag so with the extra issues I decided to do a couple things that I hope didn’t harm them. I mixed up new solution that I let sit in a bucket with an airstone in it to mix up well. I followed the smaller amount chart but still added the extra three at half the normal amount as well. PH adjusted to 6.2 stupidly because the bottle for calmag says to adjust to 6.2. That whole distilled water thing had me nervous that the plants hadn’t received any at this point and thought that might help. While I let the bucket sit with the new solution I put three gallons of distilled water PH adjusted into an extra bucket with an airstone in it. I then moved a plant into the distilled water to flush out and extra nutrients and to try to get the sediment stuff off which worked I think. After about a half our I moved the plant into the new solution and repeated for all three. I also decided to move the light all the way to the top of the tent because I was worried about its intensity at this point. It is crazy bright… Its been a couple days now and I took a few pics of whats going on. Hope someone can shed some light on this no pun intended…or maybe I did. LOL