Garden Fever

Last month I wrote about setting up a new indoor garden and described the germination method. Since then, most of the seeds germinated but the foam and hydrocorn method I was testing was not ideal. Some of the seedlings had trouble staying in position, because the hydrocorn did not hold the foam in place securely. My solution to the problem was special care—manipulating the foam to give the seedlings better positioning.

The seedling did well under the four high output fluorescent tubes, which had an input of 200 watts over the eight-foot tray. Sixteen days after germination, I placed them in their final growing and flowering space.

The garden space is a single 4’ x 8’ tray. The bottom of the tray is outfitted with heaters, which turn on when the water temperature goes below 72 degrees, four eight-foot lines of porous tubing connected to a powerful air pump that release air along the length of the tray and a water pump. The tray is filled to the top with a vegetative growth nutrient-water solution at 750ppm and a pH of just over six.

Two double ended 660-watt HPS lamps light the space continuously. The tent has a frame of 2’ x 4’s and is larger than the tray so you can walk around inside. It is covered by panda film, white on one side and black on the other. The black side of the film faces the outside so the inside is reflective white.

Each plantlet is growing in a 6” x 6” space. The containers they were started in were fitted into two-inch holes drilled into a one-inch thick Styrofoam board that fits perfectly into the 4’x8’ tray.

The plants will grow for about two weeks to fill the canopy, then the lights will be turned back to 13 hours of light daily, to induce flowering. About four weeks later, the lights will be turned back an hour to promote ripening.

After I set up the hydro tray that a friend brought over four “Ed Rosenthal Super Bud” single stems that were just going into their second week of flowering. Then another friend came with some of their excess OG and OG crosses. A third brought some local varieties. It would have been heartless to turn these orphans away, so I decided to give them a home in my greenhouse.

I set up a 2’ x 8’ tray for the adoptees. Both feed from the same reservoir. One group of plants is in 6” containers on a wick system in planting mix with supplemental drip sits on a platform above the tray with wicks trailing into the tray. The other group is in 2.5 quart containers, each made from two inexpensive plastic colanders. The bottom third of each sits in water so the plant’s roots can easily migrate into it. More about this system in my next installment.

 

GARDEN TIP

It’s not too late to plant. If you pick up some clones and repot them and place them outside, or in a sunny window they will grow vegetatively for about four to six weeks and then they will start to flower. You can be smoking your fall harvest in just a few months.

The greenhouse during the day. The plants get about five hours of direct sunlight, and an additional five hours of indirect bright light.

Greenhouse at night. This photo shows how the plants are lit using fluorescent and LED lights. They are on 7 a.m.-10 a.m. and 4 p.m.-8 p.m. to supplement natural light.

The hydro system: Colander containers hold the hydrocorn but allow a free flow of water. Notice that roots are beginning to grow into the reservoir.

Tray of female only “London Lb. Cake x Watermelon” ready to sit at the big table.

Fitting the 2” round pots into the round holes.

The tray, outfitted with seedlings will support vegetative, then with a change of water, flowering. At harvest each plant will be a single stem of bud.

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