Planning the first grow... (The first of a multi part series)


Hi guys, long time lurker but first time poster, and I can’t wait to get down to the dirt!
I have a few questions about what I’m putting together and would really appreciate it if you modest experts would lend out some help and chime in.
I’m planning on using a 5x5x6 tent for starters and hoping to use this space to grow 4 beautiful ladies( 2CW and 2GL!
As far as lights go, I’ve ordered 3 of the MarsII 400w led’s (and adding a fourth hopefully before flowering).

First off, I was wondering if you guys think this setup will be adequate in the first place? I plan on doing a soil grow for my first time; from reading the forums and thinking it over, it just seems like an easier medium for a beginner like me :slight_smile: I’ve been going back and fourth on an auto water system as well, if you guys could offer any insight on this as well would be very much appreciated.



@Thelaughingwolf remember, you have your exhaust system at the top, lights under it and at least 18" from light to canopy. So that’s only gonna leave you about 3’ of grow hieght. Then minus the height of the pots, so now you’re down to just 2’ of growth


I checked out your lights on Amazon. Those are nice


I think you would b better just growing 2 in that space ! If it get to crowded you will have to worry about molding and it’s hard to tend to your plants when you can’t get to them. You will have to remember once you kick into flower it will still grow taller to so you will have to judge that with your height restriction. I think your equip will do you good . And I definetly think soil for your first grow. I have a 4x8 tent for veg and it’s crowded with 4 plants but I spread mine out with sticks also to get trained fir SGROG net . Then you will have to put in consideration the heat and humidity . You may need room for AC or dehumidifier also. Tents are gray to use but they are limited so u have to plan fir it


In other word’s… get a tent that’s 8’ tall if you can fit it in to the budget and space… :wink:
:v: :sunglasses:


Yes indeed. Cuz once you start you can’t stop. And it sucks trying to move a big plant especially in a tent. I’ve seen guys that grow all stages in one tent but it looks like the plants are pretty small that they grow.


Furst off welcome to the best grow forum and community on the web we have the best membership
I agree you want as much head room as possible
But your in the money with soil being more forgiving fir a newbie
The lights should be enough a forth woyld be great in flower
There are techniques tou acn use to control hieght
Tag me in when you get started


@Countryboyjvd1971 thank you for the warm welcome! @peachfuzz @timmyv324 @HornHead thanks for the advice. I’m kind of restricted as far as space for the time being so I’ve decided to just scale it back to 2 girls instead. I have a question; in addition to exhaust and circulating fans, should I also be looking into a fan for inlet air as well? And also, would there be any benefits to a beginner using auto pots? If you think it better to go through a first grow “by hand” rather than adding extra variables, please let me know.
Thanks for the support!


I in my opinion would stick with the soil until you understand what the outcome will b. And Inlet air is a must to provide some fresh air exchange. You want fresh coming in and old going out. It also helps with the temps. Fresh air down low exit up high.


I think your on point when you say keep it simple
You have much to learn if its your first time
You can expand your endeavors later once you know more


@Thelaughingwolf, it looks like you have some good support with @Countryboyjvd1971 and @timmyv324.
I too am a new grower (First Grow is in the Dirt and going strong) and have received all of my growing education from the folks on the ILGM forum.

Follow their advice and you will be growing great dope in no time.:+1::man_scientist::sunglasses:
Reminder: pH!

Welcome and have a great time!


Awesome, I’ll have to follow your grow @merlin44. Everyone’s been awesome so far. I’ve got to remember to tag you when I start my own in the near future!


Welcome to the group! I’m also a new grower and people here have been a huge help. I have no room for a 5x5 so my tents are a 3x3x6 for vegging and 3x3x80" for flowering. Plus a small grow box for seedlings. I use Fox Farm Ocean Forest with Happy Frog blended 1:1. This soil supports the plants without nutes for quite some time. As @merlin44 mentioned remember to ph your water. @dbrn32 is the lighting guru here so reach out for his thoughts on your light setup. Best of luck to you and your grow!


So… first off, @merlin44 I took a look at your grow journal the other day, and wow, fantastic work. Those things are gorgeous.
Yesterday I went out and picked up some FF ocean soil and plan to mix it 1:1 with happy frog that I already have on hand. , I also picked up a couple 5gal smart pots, as well as some smaller 6" transfer and seedling pots. I was planning on buying a ph pen and tds meter while I was out but didn’t necessarily know what I was looking for exactly when it came to pens for a soil grow. Any of you guys have any recommendations for a decent ph pen and tds meter? @timmyv324 @merlin44 @peachfuzz @Countryboyjvd1971 I was looking at the blue labs ph pen and ppm pen combo pack recently but didn’t pull the trigger yet.


The Blue Labs is definetly top notch. I don’t think those would let you down !


Apera is a great company for pH & ec/tds meters.


@Thelaughingwolf I agree with @timmyv324 and @blackthumbbetty on their assessments. I have a Bluelab pH pen and an Extech EC500 pH/EC meter. Both are excellent devices. As with any pH and conductivity instrument, you must check the calibration regularly and recalibrate when ever needed or called for by the manufacturer’s recommendations. Also, store the probes properly and keep them clean. Definitely, don’t allow a pH probe to dry out.

Monitoring and keeping your pH under control and in the correct range for your medium (hydro, soil, etc) is crucial to having healthy plants.:writing_hand::wink::+1::sunglasses: I will let you know is few months time whether this has resulted in high yields and great smoke (this is my first grow and I don’t actually know anything yet). :ok_man::grin::sunglasses::+1:


I think that’s the key is storing your meter properly and knowing how to calibrate it. When I first started I used a $20 Milwaukee ph meter and TDS meter from them to. But I never really trusted my cheapo ones . I got Blue Lab meters once I realized how important they were I tried to get a good one


So, my original light order had some delays and now I’ve started looking into some of the timber grow lights fixtures. Specificallly their 3ts model.

@dbrn32 I heard you’re a person to confer with on the subject of lights.

I’m planning on running 2 plants in a 5x5x6.5 tent. The mars hydro 2 lights are 400w (250 at the wall) and was looking to run 3 of them to start. Only, I’ve heard from a few different people that the quality isn’t the best, and that they’ve had trouble getting the company to honor warranty work.

The timber grow lights are much better quality and for the money spent on the 3 mars hydro lights, I was wondering if something like the timber 3ts or 4vs would be equivalent?

The more I think, the more questions I have :smile:


In terms of photosynthetic flux, the 4vs is going to provide more light than the 3ts. I also feel that in the long run, you’ll be much happier with the timber offerings than any of typical amazon panels.

That being said, it’s my opinion that either of the fixtures you mentioned will be a little short of “full coverage” in 5’x5’. Which lead me to ask more of what you plan on doing or how you plan on using the 5’x5’?