Questions from a first time grower

Lots of good stuff here and if you are like most of us @Cazz once started you will be hooked. My advice here is try not to overthink everything. My problems starting were always self inflicted and largely from me “over engineering” with climate, soil, nutes, light, you name it. This remains my biggest issue in fact and root cause analysis always seems to land on the “grower” doing too much fooling around with something. Good kit when you can swing it is worth it. Meters, and the light especially. Air flow, temp and humidity are important and you may find it easier to manipulate a “lung room” where the tent lives rather than the environment inside the tent. This will require humidifiers and/or dehumidifiers and in a case like mine the requirement varies with the season. Then there are the fans mentioned. AC Infinity though a little pricey is a great option here. With the controller you can use it to cycle fans up or down with heat and humidity. A nice feature. Finally on the conflicting advice front, while I grow photo’s mostly now, I started with autos. And there are some advantages. The obvious one is the light schedule. Secondarily in my opinion auto’s keep you focused. If you can run the auto cycle and max out a grow, flipping to flower and adding volume is a pretty easy shift. Point being. Don’t run from auto’s if you already have them. Newbies can run autos just fine.

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I’m growing autos right now for the first time, the first time for anything for the record. What specifically did you mean when you said “autos keep you focused”. Light, water, nutrients or something else? Thanks.

@BuddyHolly1212 By “keeps you focused” I mean the auto cycle does not allow for any " do over" or “reset” runway. In a photo run until you flip to flower for example you can slow roll and reset things that go sideways. Sometimes. And depending. Versus the auto run where the plant is going to cycle though its thing regardless. Hence, you can’t really go to sleep on anything. You can however remove the fear of screwing up the light schedule. One less thing to worry about. And then focus on what the plant is doing. Which is plenty at first. Good rule of thumb here might be less is more. Too much water, light, nutrients, humidity, etc…all will send you sideways. Adding more of it to fix it will make it worse. Which you will see, experience and learn about fast with autos. Either path works really. I prefer photo’s now but am just starting some JHA’s that I really enjoy for a daytime med for example. Just have fun with it. If I can do it anyone can.

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Thanks for the quick reply. Too make a long story short, you put gas in the tank growing autos and then don’t have the capability of slowing down the velocity of the grow by way of lighting or anything other issue that you would have growing fem seeds. Trying to grow White Widow Autos for the first time. You would laugh at my hillbilly growing set-up I’m running with so my expectations are low. I agree with getting too complicated with nutrients, more is not necessarily better and panicking leads to bad decisions and worse results. Finding a blend of nutrients that works with your existing soil is the key. Grow on and good luck.

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I made the mistake of trying to reply to everyone last night and had forgotten I was only allowed a limit of posts so I was unable to post for 24 hours. So to everyone that replied thank you and I did read all messages and they were all helpful. :smile:

Turns out I’ve hit a stumbling block regarding my plans. ILGM no longer ships to Australia and MNSL ships to Australia excepts when it comes to 2 states and of course one of the ones they don’t ship to is mine. I don’t understand why. I am so disappointed. :disappointed_relieved:

Is it ok to ask on this forum for help on finding a distributor that will ship to me?

@BuddyHolly1212 “Lightly fanning the seedling sprouts 1 to 4 inches tall seems like a good idea to drive the plants into developing a firmer stalk.” Absolutely concur. This step with successful lighting conditions will assist the grow. I use fans inside tent. Some timed, some on always. Going to need more air circulation and filtration shortly, I hope.
Also, mentioned would be top adding more soil for stalk support. Soon to try this method.

Welcome to the community and @Myfriendis410 has you covered. :+1::+1::+1:

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@Cazz Have you looked into Seedsman? I have heard good reviews on that seed bank. Just a suggestion! Of course I would wait to hear from everyone else on here as I am new myself to the grow industry. But I have done plenty of research and they have very good reviews, just not sure on where they do and don’t ship to. Good luck :crossed_fingers:

@BuddyHolly1212 Well said!!

Seedsupreme (USA), i49 (USA)
Silica helps strengthen stalks.

I think with lights wattage is not the important factor, PAR is, the Photon spectrum, (of visible and invisible light) at least between 600 and 720) With an addition of some blue light for vegetative growth. **Blue light regulates the opening of stomata, which are the tiny openings on leaves that control both water loss and the uptake of carbon dioxide. Generally, only a low intensity of blue is needed in a light spectrum for fully functional photosynthesis. Blue light is available in the “real” outdoor spectrum (In other words the outdoor spectrum has more forms of light than a grow light-- so it is optimal. As others hve said, it is all about control of the environment. Outside, it can get too hot, too cold, you have to contend with wind and bugs and rainstorms.

There are expensive lights, and cheap lights. I decided to go with a cheaper light (60$ as opposed to a 300$ light because I have no idea whether I am going to like this, or get into it so deep that I want to spend money on expensive items. The same goes for grow tents. Why spend 300 on a grow tent when you can buy reflexive mylar farm insulation for 20$ per roll and make a box. You can DIY a lot of this.

You are correct and maybe you are not yet considering all important factors.
I started closet growing in the 1970’s. The hours and days wasted (no real free labor, because beer is not free), trying to set up a grow room that was conducive to growing, let alone providing a happy home.
Banned from growing and now paroled after 35 years for the MAN, I had a 24x24x72 tent for a closet and bingo, easiest grow to control, ever. Currently adjusting to life with 48x48x80. Addicted and learning so much I never knew, with ILGM and WEB support now available.

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I did that last night. Knocked the bottom off the soil plug in the starter cups and CAREFULLY replanted the seedlings deeper into the existing cups along with lightly packed dry potting mix for stalk support. I did moisten the new support soil this morning. Don’t like the idea of drenching the stalks in too wet soil as that might lead to stalk rot and the game is over. Baby steps. At this stage of plant growth you can get away with that without damaging the small tap root. Very pleased with the soil moisture in the bottom of the cups, not too much and not too little. FYI I am using previously collected rainwater for watering purposes right now until I run out of it, haha. The plan is to use my pre-softened well water down the road.

I actually found a couple of seed banks that are in Australia and one has really good reviews so I will check them out first. I will put the Seedsman on my list though, thanks for that. :smile:

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Seedsman reportedly just changed hands recently.

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Well we finally located some seeds and they are on the way and will be here in a couple of days so now it is time to get organised. My sister and I are both starting this new hobby and her son doesn’t think we can do it so we are determined not to fail. :slight_smile: I will list what we are looking at getting and would really appreciate some feedback into our choices. If they are bad choices just let us know as we are both newbies here.

Ok first of all we are both using 1.2m (L) x 1.2m (W) x 2m (H) grow tents. All the info below will be for 1 tent.

Lights - We are looking at 2 x Spider Farmer SF2000 LED grow light 200w full spectrum dimmable hydroponics panel. Myfriendis410 suggested 2 x HLG 260 XL R-spec but we only have 1 store in Australia that sells HLG and they were extremely expensive compared to the US. He suggested the 2 lights so we could save on power by only using 1 light when only 1 was needed. So anyway the Spider Farm one we are looking at seems to be comparable to the HLG but we could be wrong.

Exhaust = Spider Farmer 6" or 4" (?) inline fan air carbon filter 8 feet ducting ventilation combo. We are not sure about whether we would need the 6" or the 4". To be honest we don’t really know what the different sizes do.

Pots - 25 litre Fabric pots. Some of the seeds we ordered are of the compact variety, up to 100cm high, while the others are up to 180cm high. From what we’ve read the 100cm ones could actually be grown in a smaller pot but we wondering if we should just grow them all in the 25 litre to save any confusion. I have read though that the pots shouldn’t be too big so some advice here would be great.

Humidity - Do we need a dehumidifier - we have around 70 - 80 % average humidity where we live so we assume the tent would retain higher humidity. Options to remove humidity and what is ideal humidity. We found this, Wireless thermometer - Hygrometer made by Baldr. Is this what we need?

PH & TDS - We have found a Bluelab PH pen (for measuring PH and temp). Would this item be acceptable? Could someone explain what the TDS means and do we need to buy something in regards to it. Also is there an ideal temperature in which to grow the plants?

Nutrients - We are looking at Living Soil as Jack’s is very hard to come by in Australia and we are looking for something that requires the least amount of work. We read that the PH would need to be around 6.2 - 7, is that correct? If we use Living Soil can it be reused the next time we grow?

Well thanks in advance guys. Without the help from this forum we wouldn’t have the confidence to try this. You are an amazingly generous group of people.

Have a great day! :slight_smile:

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TDS total desolved solids If your are feeding your plants nutrients you need to know how much your feeding and when to feed.

If you are growing in living soil you can get away with not having one

A c infinity site has a cfm (cubic feet per minute) calculator that is helpful in determining how big a fan to get for any size space. Based on your tent size I’m going to say a 6 is a better choice. Your RH 70-80% is great for the first weeks but will need to be gradually reduced as you grow. Here’s a chart that’ll help greatly for guidance

Thanks so much, this will be very helpful. :smile:

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