Indoor Growing : Newbie, new grow, autopots and clay pebbles

 
 

Author: (only registered users can se the link, login or register)
Subject: Newbie, new grow, autopots and clay pebbles
Posted: 09October2011 at 12:40

Hi everyone,I am a total nube to not only the forum, but this’ll be my first grow too. I chose to buy a 90 x 60 x 60 tent with a 2ft 4 tube T5 for bringing on seedlings / vegging.  I am currently growing 4 seedlings; silver haze #9, 2 super skunks and a skunk #1.I also have a 120 x 120 x 180 tent to transfer the babies into when they can tolerate more light, which will be a 250w HPS backed up with some CFLs and a freebie 90w LED UFO.  Extraction / Filtering in this tent is through a 4″ extractor via a carbon can type filter and there are 2 oscillating fans to push the air about.  I temperature tested this setup with lights a blazing and the max temp was 83F, lowest during the night while the house heating was off was 75F, so I think the setup should be ok as far as temps go. Being a newbie I chose autopots.  I bought 2 sets of 4, giving me 8 pots and 2 tanks – the reason for the 2 tanks will become clear later. My first question is have any members grown from rockwool (I used 1″ for starters, then moved them to 4″ when roots started to show) then transferred directly into their final pots (auto’s in my case) with just clay pebbles as their medium?  Obviously I don’t plan to move them to the Autopots until the roots are doing well enough in the 4″ cubes.  They are just appearing at the base of the 4″ cubes now. Clay pebbles – I have them here, washed and then soaked in 5.8 ph 1/2 diluted feed. I’d rather stick with a simple medium that I can get hold of easily and possibly re-use, as I live in a very remote place.  Very remote – no police, no neighbours, no hydro or horticultular outlets anywhere near.  It’s either a case of taking a long ferry journey and filling my car with supplies when I visit civilisation, or go mail order.  I have suspicions about both – cars can sometimes be checked at ferry ports for ‘Marine Polutants’ and other contraband, while mail order is a direct path right back to me.  Thankfully ost companies are discreet.  Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they are not after me. Secondly,  my babes have just passed the point of using their own fuel and I have started adding firstly 1/8, then 1/4 strength Formulex to their watering schedule.  They seem to be doing ok, so I am fighting my urges to meddle at the moment.  I’d planned to keep them on this 1/4 strength then up it to 1/3, 1/2, 3/4 every week.  Is this schedule workable, when I should up the level of feed and when is a suitable time to move over to ‘proper’ nutes in the Autopots?   2 tanks – just after I had just germinated my seeds I found out I will be away for 2 weeks at about week 7 of my grow.  This creates a problem – do I leave my babes in veg while I am away and hope the Autopots take care of their watering while maybe slowing down their growth using a little less light, or do I put them into flower before I go keeping the HPS at a decent distance so they don’t grow into it while having CFLs and my T5 as a source of light at the sides maybe?  There’ll be one 37L tank per 2 plants.  Do you guys think that there won’t be enough volume at week 7 for 2 plants over 2 weeks?  The 2 weeks away couldn’t come at a worse time really and a really don’t want anyone else involved in this grow, or it could spell trouble.  I mean, if I can’t keep this secret how can I expect a ‘babysitter’ to?  Meanwhile, I don’t want to give up on this crop either as it’s my first, fem seeds are not cheap and I don’t have the maturity on the seedlings to clone at this very moment, although it is in the pipeline before I go, which could bring its own issues.  I have a recirculating flood and drain table which any clones I take can live in inside the veg tent while I am away.  There’s a decent reservoir with it which should keep them happy for 2 weeks.  Ideally I would change the res contents sooner, but I’m kinda stuck.  Same issue with lighting for those too.  I won’t be there to adjust as necessary.   All opinions and fantastic ideas gratefully received. Sorry for the multi questions and the introduction novel.  It’s just to save you guys time asking background questions. Thanks in advance, Haggis
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