Tropical custom light-tent-house - outdoors - 3rd grow starting

Hello everyone - gnarly 74-year-old in Thailand here.

My first two attempts were like a ten year-old trying to understand Shakespeare. I bought expensive seeds and planted them in a light tent . . . had NO idea what I was doing, just used potting soil and no nutes, then chickened out when they got so stinky that I could smell them six houses away. This is my third try now, after having begun to understand things just a little bit better.

I’m lucky in that I’m now living (in a little ‘cottage’) in the far corner of a small private estate of 4 acres or so, with four or five rented houses all hidden away from each other. My landlord is pretty easy going, having considered starting a weed farm himself on this land, but scrapping it as impractical.

My original idea was to use a small lean-to greenhouse and take advantage of the nine months of sun over here. This I did last year with success, until it got to flowering time . . . then the high humidity led to bud rot at the last moment. Even so, it was encouraging enough to do it again this year, but with improvements.

I’m limited by the siting of my ‘growhouse’ – it only gets direct sun between around midday until 5.30 pm. So it obviously needs supplemental lighting. I eventually got the hang of PAR and DLI and combined this calculation with three LED grow lamps; last year I used these lights (using a smaller mini set-up with two lights) for around 6-8 hours a night, with success – lights off in the day and supplementing it overnight.

The biggest problem was the amount of light blasting out into the night . . . when a friend living half a mile away told me that not only could he see me but that NASA could see me from their satellites, things had to change. The solution? A big roll of black pond liner.

I feel comfortable with the idea of real soil but need some advice – I’ll ask at the end. So I’m using a ‘slightly hot’ mix of potting, coir, perlite, worm casts, guano and bone meal, with an added trace of dolomite, Epson salts, azomite and soluble humic acid.

I’ve currently got six autos at seedling stage, doing very nicely. (I have space for eight but, being my first proper grow, I’m being irrationally cautious.) I’ve also got three photoperiod Friesian Ducks hidden away in remote sunny corners, just to see what happens.

(One thing I have noticed is that the high temps and humidity over here seem to force some hybrid strains to revert to what seems to be their dominant characteristics – one AK 47 grew like a skinny sativa up to almost four feet (!) and the Friesian Ducks have come up with ordinary leaves, not ‘webbed’.)

But a question for you all – nutes. With the soil mix I’m using, my instincts tell me not to go for anything aggressive. The low-content Advanced Nutrients Grow-Micro-Bloom seems right and I used it last year with some success. But the one thing I can’t work out in my mind is the way – with a soil mix – that watering and nutes go together.

So, no nutes at all for the first three weeks. Being only on their first set of true leaves, I’m currently watering once every 2-3 days – about 1/3 of a pint. But, later, when the plants have 5-6 nodes and are starting to bush-out, I’ll be watering every two days and using one pint each time. So when do I add nutes? (Every reply that I’ve read to this question seems to be different!)

I’m going to use Micro Grow at ½-strength because of the ‘warm’ soil mix. Do I fill my pint jar with water, squirt ½-strength nutes into it and pour on the plants twice a week? Or do I add nutes to the water every-other watering? How many times per week, with autoflowering plants in their 5th and 6th weeks, do I use the nutes?

Or is ½-strength too strong? Should I use ¼-strength?

Hoping to get a bit of wisdom from the community here!


Hello I use a jug big enough to water a couple plants, it’s a gallon jug. Whatever it says on the label I put in the jug and fill with water and shake it. If you can pour that slowly over your soil, not your plants, that’s fine. I don’t want to splash so I use a cup and do it one cup at a time.
My label says 1.25ml per liter. So I use about 5ml in my gallon jug of water.
Some labels will say something like 0.5ml per liter, for seedlings. Look for that.

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Around 5.5 gal and about 10 gal soil. Autos. After three straight waterings I went to half strength food. Once into flowering I went full strength. Only after 6 weeks did either need water twice a week.
Of course the large container’s plant shown less deficiency than the small one.
If outdoors I think watering would be more. My grow aint nearly the best around but here’s a pretty good idea of what effect it had

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Are you using hot soil, like I am?

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Sort of, mixed used potting soil with used garden soil (sandy) with some new sheep manure compost and I think it’s hot enough. And a couple scoops from my soil bin in storage that has food scraps and worms. A little peat for water holding. It’s around 25% new compost.

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