Plutarch Turns the Lights Out - First Photo Grow Journal - What could go Wrong? Or Already Did?

Hello fellow growers. Having started this journey a few years ago and having no experience with anything other than auto’s I’m started on a grow where you need to remember the lights are off. Which could be a challenge in and of itself. By way of background, having started as a means of obtaining meds that were far better than those I could obtain in my backwards state, and as a means of avoiding the black market where product was always suspect or the entire experience awkward and uncomfortable, I bought my first batch of seeds from ILGM and was immediately hooked. Somehow the guy who planted everything with a telephone call and a credit card started planting vegetable gardens and replacing flower gardens with beds of wild flowers and basil, thyme, sage and the like. The healing process that has come with this has been bigger than the meds themselves for me and for this next step I could certainly use some help. If I tag you be advised it is solely because I saw something that made me think you were brilliant but it DOES NOT mean you need to tag along, watch, or even respond with a kind note. You all have things to do and I will not be in the least bit offended. Though, I could use the help and rather than posting my questions all over the place I am going to give this approach a go. Be advised that I am easily distracted, have been known to make stupid mistakes, and have a tendency to overcomplicate things. But with that said let me introduce the environment and the real stars of the show.

I am growing in soil, in two Gorilla 4x4 tents with California Lightworks for lighting and a range of other fans, controllers and what not. Thank you @Hellraiser for the nudge on the AC Infinity Fan. Its installed and I plan to buy another.
Depicted below is Shorty, an OG Kush Auto 57 days from drop that is a test subject for the new Flower Tent. She shared the tent with Stretch, who was ejected outside for poor health a few days ago but appears to be recovering. You will see her in the second photo outside.


The Veg Tent test subject is a Jack Herer Auto, depicted below. Two siblings did not make the germination along with a WWA.

Mostly if not completely due to the grower though I have had some previous trouble with the Jacks. You will see some of my issues that might contribute to my problems when I introduce the two BB and the two MW that are the real stars of the show but just for fun here is the current Veg Tent Occupant.

And last but not least, the four Photo’s, two Bruce Banner and two Maui Wowie, feminized, who I need to keep alive for four months. As you can see my starting game is a weak spot. These ladies have been denied enough light, were kept too damp, and when I moved them to their new Solo Cup homes to dry them out I left them outside where they were tossing their seed caps and reaching for the sun until I left for a friends house and a thunderstorm came through. Which must have been much like being on the Somme in WWI complete with the mud. New T5 or T6 light on order but recommendations on building out a better starter setup welcome. And sorry for the long setup here, I really have no idea what I am doing. Which is much like my life story. The second pic depicts my cobbled together kit for the seedlings.

@PurpNGold74 @Oldguy @blackthumbbetty @Lanierrs @PiratedSoldier @Hellraiser @Myfriendis410

Tips and pointers welcome. I am thinking Shorty in the flower tent could use a little more food based on the light green high spots but to refer back to the previous. I really don’t know and am just learning as I go.


Thanks for the tag.

I’ve seen a few people using the heating mats. I’m curious as to the results that everyone sees using vs not using them? Did you notice a difference when you got one?

My starter skills are terrible @PiratedSoldier but I have heard the heat helps and since I had drowned the poor things I wanted to dry them out a bit and hoped it might help. If the heat pad is a bad plan, someone feel free to tell me. Bad ideas are one of my ‘super powers’ it appears at times.


Are you sure your not me?

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We may not be the same person @pillsbury but maybe we are related. I seem to be having a great time all the while nonetheless and as long as I am making good time I don’t really worry too much about where I am going. I never seemed to get exactly where I intended to go anyway. :slight_smile: If you also suffer from that affliction then perhaps we share a bloodline somewhere. Thanks for checking out the post.


I’ve had ADHD all my life and at 71 there is still a kid running around in my head telling my body to (attempt) do things that it can’t anymore. I try to do too many things at one time and lose track of all the projects, this growing is great I let my imagination wander around what I can do to get to the point that I can grow even when I’m in a wheel chair. So far no wheel chair, I figured I would be in one or dead by now from all the crazy shit I’ve done.


lol @pillsbury `Yup. Confirmed. We are related at least in character. I’m chronologically only 60 but the miles…its the miles. Long list of maladies that come from still being alive and a chronic case of kicking off “too many” things at once the naysayers claim. And yes, the fact that I am still alive and others are not is also surprising for me. Keep baking Pillsbury, and all will be well.


freshly baked


Ok. The first order of business, for anyone playing along, is what to do to with these ladies. They are 14 days from drop and not looking especially well. I have highlighted some of the neglect and lack of skill that has led me to here and now I need to try and focus, and rescue them. I have a new light on order for seedlings, a 24" T5 , which I hope is a decent choice but really have no clue, and it will not arrive until next week…and its raining and in the sixties outside. :frowning:

So looking for advice. My lighting options include leaving them where they are until the new light arrives, picture of the bulb I found laying around and am using below, or moving them into the Veg Tent. I am worried about too much light in there. Its dropping about 260 on the PAR meter which I don’t know if that is a lot or a little for the little things, or I could try moving them outside when it clears tomorrow. I hope.

The other question is transplant again? Or leave them alone and try and let them rest and recover? I am used to auto’s where a transplant really sets you back but these are photos which might give me more time and different options? And second level question, if I do transplant them do I go to the same size solo cup but buried deeper? Move up a level to a slightly larger home but not the final? Or put them right in the five gallon grow bags that are intended for the final home now, which I might do if they were autos.

Any advice and recommendations appreciated. For instance if the T5 is crap and the light here is crap please raise a hand. Ordered the T5 late when I realized how bad my setup was. With no research of any kind and without wisely asking this question first.

Current Seedling Light

Picture of the little ladies from this morning.

T5 Light ordered

. For reference.


I use a heat mat from germination until they’re transferred into at least 1 gallon pots. I find it really helps root development the first couple of weeks. I go from germination, to rapid rooters, to cowpots–all stay on a heatmat; once into bigger pots, heatmat goes off.


My thoughts exactly. Who is to say really what should be done to rescue the poor little ones. So, we stayed the course, waiting on the T5 light, using the other makeshift seedling setup with the old light and mother nature between the rain showers. Looking to stablize them and electing not to traumatize them with another transplant right away. Then, after a couple of days of my bedside vigel I dropped them in the solo cups they were already in to bury the stems a bit. Overview on how I accomplished below. Which is not my original idea but one I picked up on here I think and wish I could remember where so I could give credit for it appropriately. I use the same method for transplants, adding a cut down the side(s) of the cup to ease its removal from the new home. Also not my original idea, but it works.

Step One: Select Candidate with Floppy Stem and Poor Parenting needing assistance.

Step Two: Carefully remove bottom of cup ( I elected to go only three quarters of away around and flip the bottom open)

Step Three: Dump the amount you want to lower the cup from the bottom, reattach bottom with tape and then refill around stem. Note you may have to gently shove the medium down into the newly opened gap before you refill. Gravity alone may not do the trick.

And now the patients are resting. While the tops look very dry here that is a dusting of Happy Frog over the refill medium from the cup’s bottom which was still damp after several days in the sun or on the heat mat under the light. Should have left one uncovered to show the difference. Will update in a few days and advise of their progress.

As promised, an update here on the young ladies a few days later. They all would like to say thank you for your thoughts and well wishes. The Bruce Banners managed the trauma as you can see better than the Maui Wowie’s and if you are curious what happens if you “help” a seedling remove a seed cap, Mel, who continues to look rather ‘unwell’ is a good example of what happens when you rush along mother nature. Still, they are alive and what might have been a grow log like a plane crash, sudden, abrubt, and with great loss of life has at least been forstalled for now. A thank you here to @Hellraiser who I believe posted a great tutorial on seedlings and watering. They still don’t quite pass the thumb and forefinger swing test that I am still mastering and this is after no water except misting since the deluge. An occurance well over a week ago. Finally, a word of caution to newbies like me that decide late one night, hey what the heck, lets start those seeds now, that some planning around their seedling life should be considered. Especially if all the current real estate and grow lights are occupied. This would be an example of poor planning. In addtion, if you should fail to take this sound advice and do so anyway, do not leave them outside to go play at a friends house when a thunderstorm of biblical proportions is rolling through. See item one on poor planning which this once again is an excellent example of. :slight_smile: These will get a little bit of PH’d rain water when I think they pass the dried out test. Will update more in a few days if possible. Last two pics are the current tentants testing out the environmentals in the tents. A OGKA starting to flower and JHA still in Veg. Included just for fun.


Question for the learned ones on exhausting a basement and optimal power configuration if anyone is willing to provide any recommendations. Friendly contractor showing up I hope soon to help vent me from an enclosed basement. Not a lot of options to get out and wondering what I should ask him to cut open at a minimum and what optimally. Two tents, one with an 8" and one a 6 " exhaust. I am assuming I need at least one but would like a minimum of two vents, one for exhaust and one to grab new air and/or add a portable AC which would be handy but not certain. This assumes I could combine the exhaust at the exit on one vent if that is possible. On the power front, I am assuming the optimum setup would be to split the tents across two unused breakers but again not certain. Any feedback or advice welcome, but none required. @pillsbury @PiratedSoldier @Hellraiser @dbrn32 @PurpNGold74 @MoBilly @blackthumbbetty @OldSkool @Myfriendis410 @Lanierrs


What problems do you currently have that you’re trying to solve? Most of the time basements have fairly good conditions to grow in, other than maybe needing a decent dehumidifier.


Thanks @dbrn32. I have a room dehumidifier and a humidifer setup. Having been on here a while and having tried to sort it out in the tent I gave up and the dehumidifier dumps to the sump drain. Added a room sized humidifier also as my issue in the basement is seasonal with H. I can grow in the current setup, but, I’m moving to photos and two tents running instead of one and if I am going to punch out to get air in and out, and provide the means to add a portable AC in the future now is my time. I’m retiring. I’m a medical patient. And this is my opportunity to set up Plutarch’s indoor garden before my pay checks begin to come out of my own pocket. If its overkill and I don’t need to worry about it however my friend will be thrilled, so please feel free to smack me upside the head with some sound advice. The current setup is below with some current temp, humidity etc… below in a table.

Thoughts on power? I am having him run new outlets, these tents hang on long extension cords at present, and thinking balancing the load across two breakers would be a good plan, but this to, could be Plutarch overthinking the problems. Any advice appreciated and thanks again for the response.

Note: Table represents manual entries, is fraught with human error, and almost always lights on. Hence directionally correct but skewed and not system generated.


Avg Veg 74.94 degrees and 50.5%

Avg Flower 77.6 and 51.3% or therabouts over the sample period.

Which I think is ok??


Well in terms of energy depending on how scalable you plan to make it a 20A would be my go to. But it depends if you plan to run more DC than AC. 15A is the common breaker put in for outlets. But if you’re doing a straight dedicated line to each 15A is plenty. But if you plan to ever use a large heater or A/C then the 20A is the better option. You should be able to use a meter to see what your total amperes are.

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Perfect @PiratedSoldier and thank you. Exactly what I was looking for. I have to look at what I have available but can now plan accordingly. If I have the 20A available that will be the plan. Thanks again. Much appreciated.

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Plenty, I would actually run canopy temps a little higher with the led lights, if you can without trouble.

If you are set on exhausting outside and providing intake from outside, I would install diverters to potentially switch both to inside. Less fluctuation in in environment staying inside anyway. Would be nice to have either as an option. I would also look at potentially just running header for each then tap each tent into the headers.

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