ZenMaries 1st grow round

So I went ahead and went with the 260 XL Rspec, it will take a bit more time to get here since I gotta send back the reg 260 when it gets here, but I figured why not since it was only $20 ish more. Please tell me this is the only light I will need? :sweat_smile:


It’ll be all you need in a 2x4.


I am gonna do a lil intro so y’all know more about what I am workin with.

Hey y’all!! Thanks for joining me on my first grow journey! :green_heart: I am so glad that I stumbled across this forum, bc I am gonna need all the help I can get, and this seems to be the place to go for that. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: Feel free to join anytime and anywhere!

Seeds: White Widow auto, 1-2 plants
Lights: HLG 260w XL Rspec (35.08in )
Tent size: 3’x3’x6’
Soil used: Fox Farms Ocean Forest
Grow pot: 5 Gal. fabric grow bag
Nutrients: Jacks 321

Questions I have right now:

  1. Is the FF Ocean Forest the right soil? Is the 5 gal bag too big?
  2. What is y’alls opinion on using coco coir and perlite for growing medium?
  3. I have been reading that this is the only nutrients I will need the whole grow, anything else y’all like to use with it?
  4. What ventilation do y’all suggest, 6 in?
  5. If you could go back and give yourself any advice on your first grow, what would it be???

FFOF is a fine soil. It’s what I grow in right now. I’ll be switching to Coast of Maine if I end up continuing to use soil because fox farms quality control is really, really inconsistent.

I’m trying my first grow in coco now. I think I’ll like it more than soil because it’s closer to hydroponic growing for me. I love hydro but I like versatility.

Recharge, FishSh!t, and a silica supplement (if you do Coco). Monopotassium phosphate for “bloom enhancement” - check out @Hellraiser and @Nicky for more about using MKP with Jack’s.

AC infinity Cloudline. 6 inch might be overkill but I prefer a higher capacity that I can turn down, rather than accidentally under sizing.

Don’t be afraid of hurting the plants. Top it at 5 nodes, remove excess leaves regularly, and train early. :v:

Oh, and buy a good PH meter from the onset. BlueLabs, Apera, Hanna Instruments.


You will be happy that you went with a larger tent. I would suggest a 6 inch AC infinity fan

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@Graysin Thanks for your help! Ohhhh I am interested in seeing what your results are with the coco. I have a huge houseplant collection, and make my own growing media for those, so I have plenty of coco and perlite here to try it. That is the one place that I did skimp on, I bought the cheap $20 Vivosun digital Ph and TDS meter, in hopes that it would be good enough until I can get a better one. Do you think they are sufficient enough for now?
@dirtydave I think I will be happier with it too. Ok, so it looks like that 6in fan will be my next purchase then, thanks! My bank account is begging for me to stop buying stuff already. :woman_facepalming:

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Yeah not a cheap hobby there’s always something else One tent turns into two two to three and so on


Looks like your off to a great start top of the line lights very nice, :v:

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The TDS meter is fine. I have a $5 tds and a $90 tds and they both read within 20ppm of eachother.

The ph pen is the one I suggest you don’t skimp on. Sometimes the cheap ones work fine but they fall out of calibration often and easily. I would rather have the peace of mind of knowing my meter is accurate and my plants are getting the right ph - that’s the one area all of my cannabis has been picky picky - if it gets too far either direction the leaves start to get weird.


Awsome advice @Graysin


@dirtydave It sure isn’t cheap, but that’s ok, growing/gardening is my happy place and totally worth it. I hear you about 1 turns into 2 and so on, I happen to have 2-20ft greenhouses outside to prove the truth in that statement. I plan on doing some outdoor grows this coming summer.
@JJ520 Thanks! I owe it all to this forum for the lights. This forum is what taught me to go big or go home when it comes to lights. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:
@Graysin well then, excuse me while I go cancel my order and get the better ones. Which brand do you have?


Yeah you definitely can’t go wrong with The forum any issues just post and many people will be there to help apria is a good pH pen


@Graysin pretty much answered everything exactly as I would - but we seem to have an odd sympatico.
Especially on buying things, like light, and things we don’t need - like way more seeds than anyone can grow! LOL!

I used Happy Frog the first go around and had a lot of issues before the first nutes even went into the soil!
I’m using a lightly charged Mother Earth Coco/Peat blend on the clones and my new autos and really like it very much so far.

Totally agree on the pen - I used the crap one for about 3 months before I was done with it. Bought an Apera and never looked back. I checked and re-calibrated last week but it really wasn’t that far off, tbh.

I figure the quarter pound Grove bag I have stuffed full of beautifully sticky NYCD I grew in there the first go pretty much covered the bulk of the expenses. If not, there’s always the QP of Super Skunk I grew at the same time to make up the difference.
And I had lock out issues towards the end and probably could have gone another week or more, but I cut it anyway.
And they’re pretty damn good despite, if I say so myself!

I’m glad everyone found your thread - NOW you’re totally covered - you got the REAL experts in house!!



Welcome to the community. You have gotten a lot of great input already. The light is a great choice. I have a 260 and it produces nice dense buds. Did you go with a 2x4 tent or 3x3? The ac infinity is a great exhaust fan definitely recommend it. Good luck with your grow!


I’ve got the BlueLabs ph pen, but honestly Apera makes a $50 one that would probably do just as good as my $80 one. :joy:

I don’t wanna talk about the 200 seeds in my closet, man. Or the HLG that just got delivered today. :grimacing::sweat_smile::rofl:


And - BTW - My first grow advice to myself would be - Take a breathe and learn to listen to the ladies in the tent! They’ll tell you what you need to know!

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The advice I’d give myself from my first grow, is that “I do not know more than the people that put together the feeding schedule for my product.”


@Capt.Cola I went with the 3x3. I don’t have room for anything bigger right now. Thanks for stopping by!!
@Tylersays I will have to look into the coco and peat blend, I love Mother Earth, that is actually the brand of coco I have. Yeahhhhh I really needed a quality meter for all my other growing that I do, so, what better time than now!
@Newt :joy: :rofl: Well then, I am going to make a mental note of this as well.

So I was planning on just growing mine all in one pot since I read that autos are sensitive to being transplanted. I picked the 5gal grow bag, y’all think 5gal will work for that or should I go with 3 gal? I am starting to second guess it.

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Great set up and I personally use coast of maine bar Harbor Blend so I couldn’t tell you. I also use mkp during 2 weeks of flower. Recently started using Recharge ND fish shit… every 1 here got u cover

Happy growing


Nursery bags work very well. I use them every grow with great results. When it’s time just plant the whole nursery bag into the final pot. I have always used 5 gal bags but others do use 3 gal. Personal preference really.