Your First Grow/Harvest

Random questions from a noob asking elders for wisdom.

  1. What is something that could go wrong that someone growing for the first time might not expect?

  2. What was your first growing experience like?

  3. What strain did you choose and why?

  4. What strain do you prefer to grow now?

  5. Indoor/outdoor? Soil/hydro? Do you do something different now versus when you did your first grow?

  6. What was your dry yield from very first experience?

  7. Preferred lights then vs. now

  8. Best piece of advice.


Hey @MutilatedMoth, welcome to ILGM. Great question! My first grow, I was overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know I didn’t know. Your first grow will be a huge learning experience, even if everything goes perfectly. It won’t.

The best advice I got was to make sure you have everything you anticipate needing (that’s the hard part) before you even soak a seed. That way, you’re not shooting yourself in the foot because you didn’t have the next size up containers to transplant, and your plants are root bound while you wait for bigger ones…or whatever.

The most common mistake new growers make is over watering, and over loving their plants in general. It’s new, exciting, you want to be in there checking on them and doing something with them at every opportunity. Oooh, they look thirsty, I should give them a drink. Guilty. But Cannabis does much better with too little water than it does with too much. It’s best to let your containers dry up quite a bit (but not completely) before watering/feeding again.

Get a good pH meter and solutions to calibrate it regularly. Blue Lab, Apera, and similar ones are popular around here. The same goes for a TDS meter to measure the strength of what you’re feeding, and to see what the plants are eating. Besides lighting, these are probably your two most important pieces of equipment, if you want dy-no-mite (Jimmie Walker from “Good Times” style) vs. just soso bud.

Speaking of lighting, don’t waste money here. Get the best your budget can afford, the first time around, and save yourself some headaches and again, soso bud. The best bang for your buck, light intensity per watt, is going to be LED, specifically quantum boards. Depending on the space you’re lighting, there are plenty of plug and play options, as well as limitless possibilities with some light DIY. @dbrn32 can help you out here.

I’ve only grown in soil, but I have a veggie garden going in coco right now, and I’m leaning toward it for my next cannabis grow. Soil is great, some don’t require any feeding well into veg, some clear to flowering, depending on the type and how long you veg. On the other hand, with coco or promix or any soilless method really, you have total control over what your plants get fed. In soil, you’re sort of stuck with what’s in it, at least to start, unless you build your own soil. @garrigan62 and @Mrcrabs come to mind, for organic soil guys. Problems can be corrected much quicker in hydro vs soil, but they also happen much quicker in hydro. @TDubWilly and @DoobieNoobie grow monsters in hydro, and can answer more questions on that side. My advice would be to start growing in soil, to learn how the plants behave and what to do when they “complain,” so that should you choose to try hydro later, you have an idea what to do if you have problems. Others have jumped right into hydro and make it look easy. It just depends on what works best for you and your circumstances.

My first grow was a White Widow feminized that I abused the hell out of, documented here: Closet/Frigidank™ perpetual grow
I listed, in detail, all my rookie mistakes. I chose White Widow because I read it was easy to grow. However, knowing what I know now, I’d have chosen something more high yielding, to compensate for my rookie mistakes. WW is a pretty small plant, relatively speaking. I want to say I cleared 38 grams dry, but my memory is not my best feature.

MY best piece of advice to you is to read, read, read, and read some more, journals on this forum, guides on the site. YouTube videos are good, too, but sometimes you have to weed through some crap/bs. Learn as much as you can before you even get started, even as you are starting and throughout. The more you know… Don’t be afraid to fire away with any questions you run into. Someone will be happy to help. You’re in great hands, you’ve found the best bunch of growers on the internet! :v:

  1. What is something that could go wrong that someone growing for the first time might not expect?
    Magnesium and calcium deficiency once in flower

  2. What was your first growing experience like?
    It went well. Spent 6 months reading on here before attempting. Pulled 4.5oz off 1 plant in a 2x2’ tent

  3. What strain did you choose and why?

White widow due to the “easy” grow level on the strain review

  1. What strain do you prefer to grow now?
    Really digging amnesia haze. Supposedly moderate difficulty but has been pretty easy going

  2. Indoor/outdoor? Soil/hydro? Do you do something different now versus when you did your first grow?
    Indoor. Soil (ocean forest and big rootz). Record everything better than the first grow. On here and on my calendar.

  3. What was your dry yield from very first experience?

  4. Preferred lights then vs. now
    LED then and now

  5. Best piece of advice.
    spend lots of time looking at plant deficiency and excess photos. Learn what the plant is telling you. Every plant is different. They want things at different times. Give the plant what it wants, not what you want. And finally, this sport requires a lot of patience. If you don’t have patience, this will be a difficult venture.


I think the others hit you with great information. I can certainly help you with lights, and maybe some other stuff too.

I took away two things from first grow. First, that it fit me a little better to do a smaller space well than try to do a bigger space on the same budget. The second thing I would say applies to the first, there are some things that make sense to get as inexpensively as possible but some equipment is worth spending a little more on one time. By my third grow I had replaced all of the major components of my room and a few of my tools I started with.


Whew that was long lol. I should add my first grow left me over confident and I ended up killing my second grow. Just because things are going well doesn’t mean you’re good. It just means things are going well at that moment. Different seasons outdoors brings different needs indoors as well. That’s something I’m still dealing with after a rather large expansion. There’s far more then any of us could write on one post about growing. Heck there’s entire books on the subject. Read read and read some more. Knowledge is power but experience is king. You’ll never read enough to be ready because a lot of growing is learning to read the plants themselves. But I can’t stress enough on how much more sure of yourself you’ll be if you’ve studied the subject in depth before hand. Especially paying attention to the things that go wrong in people’s grows. That’s more important than what was right.


Welcome to ILGM awesome people here don’t think ?
Any way i’m the soil guy along with @AAA and @SKydiver you ever need anything just tag any of us ok ?


You sir, are exactly what I’m looking for I think. I’ve been browsing this site and reading the forum for a couple weeks, and this is my first thread. KNOWLEDGEABLE IS POWER!
I worked at a freshwater and saltwater fish store for over 3yrs, and during that time, we literally had hydroponic setups for pond plants, as well as marshy plants (not just strictly aquatic plants). I am so excited to learn that there is so much crossover for the setup to growing my own indica! It’s more intense in some instances, but testing for nutrients and dosing is not new to me. I’ve owned corals for saltwater and had T5’s over them. I’m not trying to get too excited, but I feel like I have a headstart!

I plan on starting small, with Blue Cheese (as I excitedly already purchased it; already making noob mistakes lol)

  • DWC
  • 32"x32x"x63" tent
  • I was going to go King Plus 600w for LED, but I wanna read more about this quantum board
  • the fox farm trio for nutrients
  • TDS and hygrometer
  • ventilatiom: carbon filter/fans/ducts/etc.

I already love this community! I’ve been a silent reader for a little bit now, trying to read a lot before I ask questions that have probably already been asked lol thank you for such a warm welcome!


To @dbrn32 @Bobbydigital @DoobieNoobie @garrigan62 @elheffe702 THANK YOU SO MUCH GENTLEMEN! (and/or ladies) I’m so excited to have found a forum with such welcoming and helpful folks! I think I picked the right one :slight_smile:


Don’t forget a good ph meter if you don’t already have one.


Welcome to the forum…the others have you well covered on all aspects.

I will emphasis the importance of a GOOD pH meter and NOT over watering.

Also, as has been stated several times, GREAT lighting (LED is my choice here) is crucial for good bud development.
Don’t skimp on lighting and don’t skimp on pH probe!

The main thing that I think has lead to my success is creating and rigidly maintaining the exact environment that cannabis needs to flourish. If your environment is incorrect, your plants will suffer and your yields will be lower than they could be.
(don’t neglect air circulation in and around your plants)

I love growing and using every strain (all ILGM) that I have grown in the past 18 months.


Preferred brand suggestions?

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This is the pH/EC meter that I use. There are much cheaper options but this one is quite excellent. I also have and use a Bluelab soil pH pen which is also excellent. They both hold their calibration nicely.

Don’t get one of those two pronged pH probes that they sell at most nurseries, and don’t waste time and money on the kits that use drops and a color chart. Neither are accurate enough for what you are doing.


Welcome to the forum34091 31131 34093


The back ground images are all of my screen saver images LOL.


Bro you totally just called me out lol gotta update my Amazon cart now XD


This is one that quite a few of us use. Holds calibration really well.

If you are clumsy, consider stepping up to this one as the glass probe is replaceable if you happen to drop it


Sounds like an excellent background to jump into hydro. You already understand the basic ideas behind it. It’s a little harder with small systems as the ph will drift rather quickly. So long as you can check on it at least once if not twice a day you’ll be good. There’s guys here that have been doing it way longer than me. But I am always willing to help. And I can always tag the other guys if I don’t know the answer.

  1. Overwatering, bad pH habits, too many plants at once.

  2. It was a learning experience. Needed more lights and better habits.

  3. Berry Bomb by Bomb Seeds. Cuz i like berries, bombs, and sativas.

  4. Fav homegrown smoke was Purple Trainwreck. Fav strain to grow was Red Diesel.

  5. Indoor, soil, and yes. I used to go indoor and outdoor on sunny days. But thats inviting bugs inside and you NEVER win that war

  6. 28~ grams. I was underlit and disrespectful to the power of proper pH.

  7. Then used cfl/led bulbs. Thought i was saving on power. Lied to myself. Now ima firm supporter of DIY EV strip builds. My 200w got me ~600 grams on my second grow.

  8. Learn to love this site. Read read read. Have fun. And listen to your plants.


Thank you for taking the time to answer all those! Very insightful :slight_smile: I’m impressed that you acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them!

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