Greetings, friends!

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by HappyHatter, Jul 5, 2015.

  1. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    I've looked at a handful of different growing communities and it looks like this one is the most beneficial for a newbie like me. I'm really hoping to get some advice here as I've never grown cannabis, or any plant for that matter, before. I have read a lot of FAQs and other threads to try and get a basic understanding on how things work, but I feel that my situation is so far from "ideal" that I need some special guidance.

    Stealth is big for me, and so is budget. I know this isn't a hobby I can start for free, but I'm hoping to get some input on how I can get things going with a budget of $20-40. I have a cylindrical trash can (about 1 foot diameter, 3 feet tall) that I was hoping I'd be able to have one plant in. I'm a student and still live with a parent so I can't exactly dedicate a closet or anything to growing.

    My intentions aren't anything huge, I smoke just once or twice a week and if possible I'd like to have some extra to share but really my personal consumption is no more than 5-10 grams per month (tops).

    I have a few Blue Dream seeds (not feminized) to work with but nothing else (other than the trash can) so I'd love recommendations on some low-cost soil, nutes (if needed), lights, etc. I have a mockup in my head on a setup that would allow me to use either CFLs or some standard LED bulbs depending on what people think are better. I am able to get CFLs and LEDs in the 6500K sunlight variety, but I still don't quite understand if wattage is important or if it is strictly based on luminance and color temp/wavelength.

    Hopefully I'm not jumping into something that won't work. I have a feeling you guys will help me make things turn out alright. I can't wait to learn some lifelong skills here, so I'm excited to hear the opinions of some of you seasoned farmers:not-worthy:


  2. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    Hoo boy! Fresh meat. Nah...we're actually pretty nice to newcomers. Welcome HappyH.

    First thought is your parents. Are you over 18? Will they be aware of your garden? Are you in a legal state, and if not, do your parents understand the legal risks of growing in their personal residence? Imho no to any of these disqualifies you from growing your own.

    $40 ain't much to work with unless you're willing to use Mr. Sun as your light source. Here's a breakdown of minimal costs to for a successful grow.

    1. Lighting; A single plant can be produce good quality under 150w-250w HPS (high pressure sodium) lighting. A Craigslist used ballast bulb and reflector runs around $50-$75.

    2. A fan for airflow. $15

    3. Soil $15. Spend here because it will make or break your effort. Do not use fortified or fertilized soil mix. Period. Never. If you choose hydro ask about hempy. It's cheap and easy.

    4. Nutrients; You can go with MiracleGro, Schultz tomato food or organic emulsions. $5-$15. If you go with cannabis specific ferts the costs will easily triple. (For hempy pots hydro ferts are required and costs go up.)

    5. Buy a few 2 gallon potting containers for $4 each or scavenge them from a garden store recycle bin. My local shop let's me take what I want from their recycle pile if I ask. That garbage bin is too big for what your planning.

    Since you got seeds just round up the above supply list and pop at least 3 of them then grow them out until you can sex the plants. Pick the females and flower those out.

    Bare bones cost for a reliable garden for 1-3 plants is gonna run you $90-$100.

    Now you can cut corners going with CFL's but here's the rub. In flower you'll need a ton of low wattage bulbs or 1-2 150w cfls. The big watt CFL's run $25+ each and each bulb needs a socket ($4-$10). The buds won't be as dense as HPS or quality LED grown...but it'll still be your bud.

    Since your needs are low....have you researched "micro gardens"? Usually it's an old cabinet or tower computer case that's been converted into a small stealth cfl garden. These can produce around 1/2 oz per harvest using low watt cfls.

    Ask questions, lots of them. We likey to answer newbie questions. It's what we do. :redbong:
  3. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    I'll start by addressing your concerns about the parent I live with. I am over 18, and while legality isn't a concern, my father is just very uptight about any sort of drugs. I'd prefer to keep him unaware mainly to avoid conflict or arguments.

    I see how the prices can add up to be quite a bit. The "micro garden" method might be the route I have to take.

    You say such setups can produce 1/2 oz per harvest. Am I right in saying that harvests are 2+ months apart? If that's the case, a single micro might not be enough. Would I be able to increase yields by, say, using brighter CFLs (and what about LEDs?) or changing other factors in the setup? Or would I at that point be required to choose between running two micros or a single larger setup?

    I'm trying to get as much information as I can up front to minimize any sort of loss due to mistake or malpractice. If you like to answer newbie questions, hopefully I'll be able to keep you entertained!
  4. Bigbud214

    Bigbud214 Ganja Guru Extreme

    Time between harvests depends on a couple of factors. The main one being how long your particular strains takes to flower. I'm not sure about blue dreams flower time. But in a single space like a micro garden you have to add in the vegetative time also. Low cost LEDs aren't going to work very well. I'd stick with cfls.

    Smell will be your big concern. Dad will smell a flowering garden even a micro one. If you are trying to do this under your dads nose might get you in trouble.

    Think long and hard about the risk if dad finds out....
  5. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    Small concern here. You say that "low cost LEDs" won't work well. Are you comparing these to cost-equivalent CFLs? I just want to make sure you aren't comparing $5 LEDs to $40 CFLs.
    Are there any small/discreet options to mitigate smell? This was a concern of mine. I have 4 or 5 plugin air fresheners in the room for other reasons :redbong: but I had a feeling I might have to do more.
    As I said in my last post, I'm not even sure that there would be any consequences, but it is a conversation that I want to try to avoid having with him if possible. In other words, there isn't really that much risk involved.
  6. JuggaloKing420

    JuggaloKing420 Just clownin around

    Honestly, man, if you're trying to grow weed in that man's house without him knowing, you're asking for trouble. There are always consequences associated with growing. Me personally, if I found out my son was growing, even a micro garden, in my house without my knowledge, he'd catch an ass whooping and be looking for a place to live asap. Maybe I'm just an ass like that, who knows.

    Even with the best intentions, what you're planning fucked up. Bad karma all the way around.:danger:
  7. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod here's the gig. If yer growing any amount of weed in somebody else's home without their knowledge, it's a bad scene. But you're an adult and you can call your own shot.

    A micro-grow running from seed to harvest in the same space should crop every 10-12 weeks or so. A half ounce is 14 grams so your right on your 5 gram per month personal use.

    Smell will definitely be an issue. I've seen sets with a carbon layer over the exhaust fan, don't know how effective it is though. Your best bet would be a small air ionizer but those cost about $100 for a small one.

    Lighting- When we discuss cfl's we're talking actual wattage, not "equivalent" wattage. Here's a link to an ICmag thread that might give you a few ideas. This cat linked to below used LED's but two 60w cfl's, or a single 150w cfl, could be used instead. From the looks of it I'd guess he pulled maybe 1.5-2 ounces.
  8. ducrider

    ducrider growing your mamas weed


    Like others have said you'll need to address the smell once they start to flower, actually some strains will have a rather strong smell during veg.

    you've said you're on a tight budget so that means DIY as the cost of a real scrubber and fan appears to be out of your reach at the moment. They're a ton of DIY scrubbers on the web as well as here on GK, Here's just one example DIY scrubber that's built in to a micro/tote grow..


  9. nippie

    nippie preachin' and pimpin'

    nice to meet you, I have to say I agree with JK...

    but it's your life and your decision, choose wisely though.

    Anyways, ONA auto mister will probably cover one plant. You're looking at $75 start up for it, $15 a month there after

    CFLs is the way to go. LED would be preferred, but not the Home Depot kind and if your on a budget CFLs are a great idea.....unless you can get low watt HPS.

    Soil of course but you do realize you are going to be one and done correct? Without having a sep veg space you are limited to popping beans every grow...sexing...etc etc.. I think 12 weeks is prob a little shy, more like 14 weeks every crop.

    Be realistic in your goals. Gotta crawl before you walk.

    It's a shame you didn't come here a couple months ago, outdoors would be your best and safest idea.
  10. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    Thanks, everyone, for your opinions and knowledge. It sounds like I have a lot of options to weigh against each other.

    I'll spend some more time thinking about whether or not I want to grow in my father's house. It seems like some of you are adamantly against it.

    If I want to wait until spring to grow outdoors, will the seeds that I have now keep until then?
  11. Bigbud214

    Bigbud214 Ganja Guru Extreme

    Keep the seeds in a dark cool air right place and they will keep.
  12. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    So I decided to forget about contemplating possible consequences and just have an honest conversation with my father. He said that he has actually done some research on MMJ and my medical condition, and he thinks it would be great for me to have a hobby other than Netflix and video games. The Grow is a Go. Obviously I need to maintain stealth for other reasons, for example frequent visits from friends. They know nothing about computer hardware, so I have a lot of ideas sketched out. I'll outline everything below, and if there's anything terribly wrong feel free to tear my ego apart ;) . Keep in mind though, this is a ghetto grow, I'm on an extremely limited budget (which is almost entirely exhausted already), and I'm only hoping for a 10-20g yield. (Even though I'd never complain about getting more!)

    I have a gutted PC case with an interior of approximately 20"x20"x6". I also have an extra 200mm 12v fan (spliced with an old phone charger) to use as exhaust. I will be able to re-purpose a WeMo to use as a timer (programmable wirelessly with a phone or ITTT, neato!), a power strip for all the wonderful things power strips do, and I grabbed 4 outlet to light-socket adapters. I also have a C14 (computer power cable) to 5-15r adapter on the way for some ultimate stealth! The idea is put the C14 adapter where a PSU would typically be, which gives me 2 5-15r outlets inside the case. One outlet will power my 100CFM fan on the side of the cast (need to construct makeshift filter, more on this later) 24/7 and the other will power the WeMo, 18/6 and then I can switch to 12/12 when need be. Out of the WeMo comes the power strip, which has either 6 or 8 outlets. I plan to mount the strip on the top-end of the (non-moving) side of the case (above my fan which will most likely be centered on that side), and will space my bulbs appropriately so that they come away from the strip horizontally. After this is done, I'll line any exposed parts of the case with Panda Film that I've acquired, of course leaving some space (possibly drilling a couple holes) near the bottom opposite the fan for some passive intake (still want to maintain negative pressure inside the case to ensure the filter works).

    So I've mentioned a filter twice. I don't have one, but I have an idea that I want to run by people. I've seen a lot of makeshift filters on various forums, and most of them utilize activated carbon. I saw a filter on one forum that a guy made using a carbon filter for a Cooker Hood (not entirely sure what that is, but not exactly important) that came in a sheet. He said that it the one he made lasted for a full grow. In an attempt to be thrifty, I jumped on Ebay with the intent to find the cheapest solution that will still do the job well. I found anti-odor carbon filters made for Electrolux vacuum cleaners, the EL030 filters to be exact. Would it be reasonable to believe that one of these, or a few layered together, could make an acceptable filter that wouldn't take up too much space? If they end up only doing half the job, I could add more layers or rush-order an ONA or two in an emergency and put the ONA beside the case where the exhaust would be coming out.

    Other than that, I haven't yet figured out what kind of container to use. I'm pretty much positive that I want to use soil, at least for my first grow, and I plan on going to a local nursery to find something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg. I can't really afford to buy a 20-pound bag (might be an exaggeration but you get the point), and I definitely don't need that much at this point. As I understand it my container will require two parts: the actual container and a tray to collect drainage. I also don't know if I should grow a single plant or if I would benefit from having two plants in such a small space. So I guess this question here is a three-parter: Should I have one or two plants, IF TWO then do they need separate containers/drain trays, EITHER WAY can anybody recommend what to use as the containers/drain trays.

    I'm looking forward to getting some information from you guys so i can get started with this grow!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 30, 2015
  13. blazerwill420

    blazerwill420 Fuck AUMA

    It's always cool to grow your own stuff but that's a lot of work for 20 grams. I'd get a couple of cfl's and a big cardboard box as my cab for that small of a grow. Didn't read the whole thread but I am assuming you don't have access to a club where you can just buy it. And I seriously doubt that your grow will smell enough to even need a carbon filter. Good luck.
  14. Bigbud214

    Bigbud214 Ganja Guru Extreme

    Sorry but if he flowers any plants they will stink. Addressing smell is very important.

    It sounds like those filters might work. You can find containers with drip trays anywhere. Try Wal-Mart garden center. A decent bag of soil will run you about $15-$20. MJ requires nutrients to produce any possitve yeild. So buy an ammended soil that has a nutrient charge already. Then get a bottle of fish emulsi and unsulphered molasses. You be all set then
  15. blazerwill420

    blazerwill420 Fuck AUMA

    You use fish emulsion on that small of a grow and all you are going to smell is the fish. Been there done that.
  16. ducrider

    ducrider growing your mamas weed

    It's really strain dependent as far as the smell goes. my first grow as a single plant from bagseed and really it hardly smelled at all until just a week or so before I took it down, in hindsight that's probably why I chopped her in the first place. Fast forward to a few months ago and I had a 5" tall confidential Cheese clone sitting on the workbench that sunk up the whole basement in a matter of minutes.. In all fairness the cut was taken during flower but still it was only 5" tall.

    It's a crap shoot but chances are that shit's gonna stink around 3-4th week.

    A cardboard box may actually work out a lot better than an old PC cabinet and for sure you'll have more room to work with. If you do it right you'll be rewarded with enough bud to hold you over between harvests. It's going to be an uphill battle though if your budget is really as tight as you say, No way getting around it really. If you want it bad enough then you'll figure out a way to make it work .

  17. ducrider

    ducrider growing your mamas weed

    Dude in all honesty if you cant afford a $20 bag of soil maybe you should hold off for a month or so and SAVE for a proper start. If you smoke or drink alcohol STOP that shit for a bit and put that money under the mattress or burry in the back yard lol . Seriously though if you'd be way ahead of the game if you could scrape together $150 bucks for a cheap HID light / fan combo.
  18. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    $150 for a light is definitely not happening. We recently replaced all the CFLs in our house with LED bulbs, so I have plenty of extra CFLs that would otherwise be going to waste. My wattage will be around 100W total of 5500K and 6500K to start, I also have 4 23W warm white CFLs to use for flower, and will likely at that point buy another socket or two so I can keep a little bit of 5500K in there. Since I had all these bulbs ahead of time, my entire budget for lighting (basically just some sockets) was under $20, which has been totally doable.

    I agree that it's a good idea to wait until I can afford good soil. I wasn't trying to imply that I would use cheap soil, but if I'm keeping my grow as small as I am I'd like to save money by getting a smaller amount if possible. If I need to spend $20 then so be it. I'll make sure to have $20 or $25 when I go to the nursery next week.

    Finally, I want to remind everybody that this project, being my first grow, is just as much about having a hobby and gaining some experience and knowledge as it is about the yield. I'd be thrilled to pull more than 15g, and honestly anything over 20g (if I get that lucky) will probably be sold so I can get better equipment for my next grow, be it lighting, a carbon filter that would be more reliable in the long run (one that could last longer than my DIY solution) or anything else that crosses my mind or gets suggested to me.

    I'm here for information and encouragement, so please don't try talking me out of this based on the fact that my yield will be small. I appreciate the good advice I'm getting!
  19. ResinRubber

    ResinRubber Civilly disobedient/Mod

    Sounds like it'll work and seen some guys do amazing shit with micro grows. What are you using for bulbs?

    You can pick up a bag of Nature's Care Organic Potting Mix for $5 at Homie DePot. Not the best but it'll do for a start. Alaska Fish fertilizer is $8 for 32oz which will last you many many grows and is also carried by Homie DePot.

    These aren't my normal soil and fert recommendations, but, in a pinch you do what you can do with what you can afford.

    Filter....You'll need to get creative....but activated charcoal is the only thing that really works. At homebrew shops or aquarium shops you can get a 1lb bag for $10. Use a sock, pantyhose, or something you come up with, to run exhaust through.

    It can be done and is being done. It just ain't easy. Good on you for squaring up with your pop. You're starting out right with that one move right there.

    Btw.....always run two or more plants. Never know when you might kill one. Always run clones or femmed seeds in micro-grows.
  20. HappyHatter

    HappyHatter Germinating

    Thanks for believing in me! For bulbs I have 2 5500K and 2 6500K 23W CFLs using adapters to plug into a power strip. Come flower time I'll switch to warm white CFLs and might buy more adapters to keep one or both of the 5500Ks in there.

    The closest HD is at least 20 minutes away but those prices work well for me and if that's what you recommend for my budget I'll probably go with that. I have a nursery and garden center right up the street from me so I'll check there first for the same products to see if I can save any time or money.

    As far as the filter goes, are you saying that the vacuum cleaner filters won't work? They are made out of carbon for odor control so I thought they might be viable. If you think I'm better off making something with aquarium-style carbon I can do that instead, I was just curious about those filters because they'd be easier to install/replace and quite possibly even slightly cheaper.

    The seeds came from somebody I don't know all that well, and he didn't seem to know if they were feminized or not. He said he bought them online but then decided not to plant them. I just said I might know someone that could probably use them and he gave them to me for free. Upon closed inspection I have 4 seeds. I'll just have to keep a close eye on them and if I catch any dudes near my ladies I'll just have to make sure they don't see the next morning. :)

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