Background, setup and first true leaves
Background: I'm a retired academic with a fondness for weed dating back to the first time I ever smoked - a chillum of ganja in southern India in 1969 (!) - fuck, I am old! I've been a lurker on this site for a year or two, reading and learning. - my last plants were from bush guerilla grows in Gippsland (vic) state forest in the 70's and I've been buying weed since. Now, I'm sick of being stuffed around on the darknet/craigslist and sick of the crap PGR treated hydro my local man seems to always have, so I decided to try popping a few bagseed beans in an indoor spacebucket/LED/coco grow - hence this journal. I don't want to invest much until I know more about soil-less growing, so as far as possible I've recycled stuff I had lying around - if I get anything worth vaporising that will be a bonus and when I'm done I'll have learned enough to be ready to invest more wisely in a sustainable setup. All advice gladly accepted but remember, I'm very new to coco and indoor grows so I'll probably make the same mistakes you have already made
Lights: I spent $25 on 4 Osram 10.5w globes on sale at bunnings last week, and I already had a couple of 9.5w chinese COB downlights lying around. The final configuration is mostly warm white with some daylight and draws 61 watts which should be enough for a bucket grow. Cut the plastic "globes" off and glued the bases into holes in the buckets. The downlights were easy to mount in small cutouts. Wired everything up carefully using insulated screw connectors in a junction box (white box screwed on the lid) - I have enough electrical/electronics experience to have some idea of how to avoid killing myself I think - ugly but safe.
Medium: Coco coir seems to have pretty good press around here so I grabbed some of Bunnings' finest $3 bricks and spent a few hours hydrating and flushing it while preparing my buckets and LEDs.
Garden Style: I had some white 20L buckets lying around so I used this design - http://www.instructa...-Bucket-for-50/ as the basic idea. My version looks like this - the upload got rotated - the bucket is vertical IRL!! : The blue things are the downlight drivers. The very bottom is half a bucket serving as a reservoir, then there's the bucket 3/4 full of coir, then another half bucket with the LEDs and wiring on the lid. Waiting for some 80mm 12v fans and speed controllers off ebay - the inside of the bucket is pretty humid - there's minimal airflow and I know I need decent ventilation but I think the conditions are ok for the first week or so I think...
Seeds: I had found 4 seeds in 7g of brain freeze from a well regarded DNM vendor (realmedicine on AlphaBay) so I trust the variety is true but with so few seeds, these are likely to be hermaphrodite self pollinated seeds rather than normally fertilised seeds and I know that means I could end up with hermaphrodite plants, but I decided to go with them to make all the usual beginner mistakes and learn the basics before I invest in seeds from a 'proper' seed bank. Soaked them for 24 hours then onto a moist towel - 3 of the 4 popped after a couple of days so I dropped them in jiffy pots. I've read that jiffy peat is too acidic for cannabis to germinate properly but these already had already germinated with visible rootlets peeking out and they worked fine so far.
1st transplant: Saw rootlets at the bottom of the jiffy pots about 3-4 days under lights later while they had only cotyledon leaves. Potted them into large plastic cups with coir; watered to runoff. Misted them with water every few hours in the bucket and used tap water only until I could see the start of a second set of true leaves on the most advanced one.
Initial lighting: Set my timer to a "gas lantern" schedule for seedlings - see http://www.rollitup....routine.442509/ This method has haters but from my understanding of plant growth, should encourage the seedling to focus on growing rootlets and also encourages earlier signs of plant gender so I'll carry on with it I think - this is an experiment after all...
Initial feeding: Got some coco canna from ebay and mixed to 1/3 strength of the manufacturer's schedule for seedlings (used 1ml of each of A/B into 2L of soft eastern sydney tap water) to feed the seedlings until I see the second true leaves open up on all the plants - then I'll move to half the scheduled strength and see how we go.
Progress so far: Day 3 from first cotyledons: shows my "girrrls" in their Solo cups in the bucket. They look perky and happy to me - it's a great pleasure being able to mist and talk to them regularly - with my bush guerilla grows, I could only visit them at weekends - this is much more "up close and personal"!
GARDEN STLYE: spacebucket
GROWING MEDIUM/SOIL STRUCTURE: pure coco coir
POT/CONTAINER SIZE: currently @1st transplant in 700ml plastic cups - will have 3 plants in about 18L of coir - hoping for at least one female
NUTRIENT/FEED MIX: Canna coco
FEEDING CYCLE: Currently daily soaking with some run off
FLOOR SPACE: 20L plastic bucket - about 12" diameter
AREA HEIGHT: Can extend to about 3' of headroom with the buckets I already have - easy to extend if needed
LIGHTING: 4f ES globes (10.5 W osram) and 3 cheap chinese COB 9.5 W downlights. 5 warm white, 2 daylight.
WATTAGE: Actual draw is 61W.