This is a collective compiliation from all of our members.

How to set up a grow room
All about growpots
All about soil
Acquiring seeds
How do I germinate seeds
What is HID lighting?
All about Vegetative growth
Nutrient disorder calculator
Sexing your plant
The flowering cycle
When to harvest
How to cure your harvest
DIY stealth Rubbermaid growbox
How to build a flip flop
Make your own compost
The Dip n' Stick Cloning Method
Greens cloning 101
Mrs fred's Cloning method
Quick cure, bud drying box
CFL Tutorial
DIY Odor Neutralizing Machine
To Flush, or not to flush....
Build a stealth grow closet
The Closet DWC Grow Guide
FAQ about Hydroponics Answered
Build your own Ebb & Flow System
What size vent fan do I need
Does the PH really matter?
Home made Co2
Outdoor Grow Guide

How to set up a grow room:

The first thing that you need to do, is set aside a suitable place for growing. This is actually a large portion of the obstacles you'll need to overcome.

Hopefully you'll size the room according to how much light you'll be supplying. A rough guide is:

400 watts = 3x3
600 watts = 4x4
1000 watts = 5x5

Yes you can have many lights in one room. You'll also need ventilation and exhaust. Besides ventilation and exhaust, you should plan on air cooling your light. At the very least, a glass shield helps alot. No glass shield or air cooling is a recipe for disaster.  Besides exhausting your grow room, you'll need some intakes for fresh air to be bought in from outside the room.  If you are using a 6" exhaust, you want double that on intake.

There are several mathematical formulas floating around for properly sizing your exhaust.

Here is one:
Take your lights wattage, multiply by 3.2 and divide by the cfm of your exhaust fan.
400watts x 3.2 / 500cfm= 2.56 degrees above ambient temp is where your grow rooms temp will be.

More is always better. The sole purpose of an exhaust is not to only expel the heat, but also to replenish the depleted co2 in the room. You'll also need an oscillating fan in the grow room.

It will take some experimentation on your part to find out what combination of fans works best.

On the note of experimentation, and opinions for that matter, you'll find growers to be very opinionated people.  We love to experiment, and we all believe our way is the only way. This is so false it's not even funny.  There are 1000's of ways to successfully grow the plant. Remember it is a weed after all.  If the advice one grower gives you, does not feel comfortable, or does not fit your growing style, seek out some more advice.

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Grow Pots:

This, on the surface would seem so basic, and often taken for granted. It shouldn’t be though, they are very important to healthy root growth. Every pot you use should have proper drainage holes in the bottom, if they do not, make some holes in the bottom for drainage.

The other important factor here is size. Start small, and plan on transplanting about every two weeks during the vegging stage. You can start off in something simple, like a 12 or 16 oz plastic cup, not a transparent cup though, it has to be colored. A transparent grow pot will allow light in, and get at the roots. Roots will not grow well in a lighted condition. Roots and light are just plain bad.

Alot of growers feel strongly about using square grow pots. Square pots allow for better use of your space, whereas round grow pots, would waste space, that would be best used by your roots.

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The next step is to gather your growing things. What do we all need if we’re going to grow cannabis? Pots to put soil in, which should not pose any major problems. By soil I mean an earth mix, of course, and in this you have a huge range to choose from. Cheap bags of earth as sold in many gardening centers will work, but can pose many problems for the beginner. The earth contains little nutrient and is not airy enough. Well aerated soil is important for good development of the roots of our cannabis plant. By ensuring you have a well aerated soil the plant will grow more vigorously, be stronger, more healthy – just better all round. You can achieve this by
adding small, white, light stones called perlite to your earth, which make it airier.

Now it has to be said that cannabis plants will pretty much grow on anything; after all it is and remains a weed. But try and indulge the plant as much as possible and she will indulge you in return come harvest time with a large yield. So make your way over to the local grow shop if you can. The biggest advantage of using good quality earth is that you have nothing or very little to do. So you do not need to add extra nutrients, for example. Try to get a decent organic soil from your local gardening center, add about 35% to 40% perlite to this soil and you’ll have a decent base to start with. This recipe can always be improved upon, it is merely a starting point, that will work. However, you could add some domolite lime, bat guano, bone meal, blood meal, the list goes on and on. Try a good organic soil available from your local nursery, along with the necessary pearlite, and whatever else listed above, that you may decide to add into your soil.

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Acquiring Seeds:

We have filled out pots with earth, so what do we need now? Well obviously, growing marijuana without the cannabis plants themselves can be a little difficult. The easiest way to get hold of some, is from seeds. These can be sold in most countries and you can order them without any problems.

I can hear the next question on your lips: what sort should I raise? And why are some seeds so expensive and others cheap?

The simplest way to explain this is that it is similar to the difference between branded clothes and unbranded. Branded clothing costs much more but is not necessarily better. The major part of the price you pay is going on the brand itself, and the same goes in the seed world, where the well-known names command the highest prices. It also has to do with the image; ‘expensive’ is associated with being ‘better’.

One company sells its seeds for more expensive prices but sells fewer than the seed company which sells its wares for cheaper prices. Also, the amount of work put into a seed’s development and that of new varieties (basically, R&D), adds to the price. Through many years’ experience the quality of the seed is kept high, as with big companies such as Sensi Seeds, and the asking price is high as a consequence.  But the eventual price depends on many, many factors and my own experience is that price is not necessarily an indicator of quality.  You can have good and bad experiences with expensive and cheap seeds.

Even seeds picked out of your weed can be raised into decent plants. But we still haven’t got our seeds, so which will we plump for?

There is way too much choice, I must say. Each variety has its own qualities in growing. So the good news is you can’t really make a wrong choice. So don’t work yourself up into a lather choosing. But to make it easier for you: go for an Indica variety. Why an Indica? You have two basic sorts of cannabis plant: Indicas and Sativas.

Indicas don’t grow too large and have a short bloom period, with strong, broad stems and wide leaves. The Sativas are the opposite, with a strong growth leading to large plants with thin leaves, and especially during flowering, are much bigger than the Indicas. You also have hybrids of the two that are primarily Indica with a little Sativa, or they can be mostly Sativa with a dash of Indica in them. Both sorts are outstanding but for a beginner there is a greater chance of success with an Indica. Sativas can be unpredictable and during flowering can triple in size.

Indica varieties will double their size at most during flowering, which is way less (especially when space is limited). Indicas are therefore easier to deal with and do not hold as many surprises in store, as well as having greater resistance
to stress (with less for the grower in turn). Definitely for the grower with just a few plants in a cupboard I recommend the Indicas. Now I don’t want to give the impression that a Sativa is hard to raise, but if you want to maximise you chances of a successful harvest you have got to go for an Indica. You will notice that there are a lot of these to choose from. Everyone has a personal opinion on what variety you should go for, so choose for yourself, as it is ultimately down to personal preference.

So finally, after much ohh-ing and ah-ing, you’ve made a choice. Nice one!

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How do I germinate my seeds:

Once again, you'll find countless methods for germinating seeds.

Here are some:

(1) I use a paper plate, a moist paper towel, laid on the plate, and folded half over the seeds, and I slide the whole thing into a zip lock baggie, than I blow into the baggie just before zipping it shut. This way as the moisture evaporates, it is re-distributed back over the paper towel.

I place the whole thing into a drawer, next to my stove, it's kept warm there. 48 hours later they are ready for planting.  After germination the sprout is placed tap root down with the little bean head about 1/4 inch deep.
Every other day for the first two weeks they get some superthrive mixed at 3 drops/gal water. Superthrive is not a nutrient but a combination of hormones and vitamins that primarily stimulates root growth.

(2) I throw my seeds in a shot glass filled with water, let them sit for 12-24 hour. then throw them in pre soaked peat pellets, under a humidity dome for 4days to a week before roots show.

(3) Take a cup, put some water in the cup and drop the seeds in. Place in a WARM place and check for the taproot periodically.

(4) Wet paper towel. Fold and put inside tupperware. Place in warm area (like on top of light) wrap in black plastic first.

Something should be said on cleanliness, and being sanitary when handling seeds, wash your hands thoroughly first, and handle as little as possible, especially when making the transfer from the paper towel into it's first new home.

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What is HID lighting:

Marijuana is naturally a high light requirement plant. While there are alternatives, this is the plants natural desire, to bathe in lumens. To fill that need, growers typically use HID lighting, because it meets the demands of the plant.

Rough coverage guidelines for HID lights:

400 watts = 3x3
600 watts = 4x4
1000 watts = 5x5

Typically a grower would use a MH light for vegging, and an HPS light for flowering. These offer the best color spectrum, for the associated stage of growth.

Rules are made to be broken though, HPS light bulbs have improved, and growers are learning you can veg & flower using an hps, or veg using cfl's and save some money on your electricity, than flower with their HPS light..
(MH=metal halide light    HPS=high pressure sodium)


How many lights/watts can I safely put on a 15 Amp service?

The rule of thumb is to only load a breaker up to 80% of its rated capacity. On a 15-amp service with 14/2 gauge wire one should only load it up to 12 Amps MAX. Since most lights will draw 1 amp per 100 watts a 15-amp breaker can handle one 1K light each. This brings up another point in home growing. That it is always good practice to have the fans and the light that they cool on the same breaker. That way if the breaker is somehow tripped (Murphy's Law) then both the light and its cooling system are down. Instead of the cooling system for the light going down and the light still blazes away because it was on another breaker. Note: above figures are estimated based on 110V supply.

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All about Vegetative growth

Vegetative growth is the second stage in the life of a plant after it completes germination and begins photosynthesis. During this stage a plant will be photosynthesising as much as possible to grow as large as it can before the onset of the flowering phase. In essence it is the period of growth between germination and the beginning of sexual maturity characterised by flowering.

All plants have a vegetative stage where they are growing as fast as possible. It is almost standard practice to grow Cannabis plants with no dark period, and increase the speed at which they grow appreciably. Plants can be grown vegetatively indefinitely (Mother Plants for clones). It is up to the gardener to decide when to force the plant to flower.

Again, there are many ways to accomplish this. The basics of vegetative growth is to grow your plant, until it reaches sexual maturity. There are 2 features that distinguish mature veggie plants from immature ones. They are alternating nodal arrangement and leaves with 5 or more blades. You can flower before those features are present, but the plants perform a whole lot better if you wait. Most strains except for equ. sats have these by 12" or so. Personally, mine have always had these features before they reach 30 days old.

There are other factors to consider too, most indoor growers veg for about 4 weeks. Sometimes more, sometimes less. Alot of indoor growers like growing an Indica strain. These will about double in size when you switch to flowering cycle. A Sativa, will grow about 3 times it's size, during flowering.

These factors, all need to be taken into consideration, along with the size of your grow room, and the light that you are using.

The main difference between vegetative growth and flowering is the light cycle. 18 hours of light (or more) and 6 hours of complete darkness tells the plant it is in vegging state. (Some people veg using a 24 hour light cycle). A 12/12 light cycle, tells the plant to flower. It is important to maintain complete darkness during flowering.

Some members input:

1. Soil:

If I am doing clones (99.9% of the time) I use RapidRooters or rockwool...

I then plant those into a mixture of 60% Foxfarm Ocean Forest and 40% perlite in the largest styrofoam cups i can find with a
good drainage hole in the bottom.

under the t-5s they go for 24/0 fun. Wham Bam Thank you Ma'am with LOTS of light is the key. When the roots start to wrap in the styro cup.....I up pot into a 1 gallon and finish the veg to my desired height. A week before flower I transplant to a 2-3 gallon and then flip em to 12/12.

Hydro: Clones in rapids or rockwool...or aero if you have a bubbler or bucket...when you have ample roots coming out of the cube...into 24/0 lights and drip...backing the drip off to 15 minutes per hour after 1 day/the hydroton is all wet.

General guidelines:

Proper lighting is very important in VEG. Low light will cause spindly/tall plants that are hesitant to branch out. This is often amplified if you are growing sativas/sat hybrids.

Ample lighting AND ventilation will result in bushy/branching plants with healthy root systems. t-5 or Halide @ 25 watts per sq ft or higher is optimal/the best bet for bushy growth in veg. CFL is also favorable for smaller numbers of plants or for side lighting. Side lighting will increase the chance the plant will fill/bush out sufficiently to take cuts or offer multiple bud sites. Temps in veg should never exceed 85F. 65-75 is optimal. IMO.

Always monitor NITROGEN levels in veg. The higher the temp of the room the LOWER the N should be in the mix. High temps/high N will also cause spindly/tall plants with lengthy internodal spacing. If temps are cool in the room and light levels are high the plant will take in more nitrogen and use it for dense/bushy growth.

Beneficial microbes and mycorrihzae innoculants are also very important in early veg. These products can be apllied early on in the veg cycle in an attempt to boost ROOT MASS. The larger the root mass the healthier/larger/more productive the plant will be.

2. I use a 4 foot shoplight with 2 40 watt cool white flo's. I also have a 17 watt fish tank flo and a reptile flo im not sure what the wattage is. I also have a 150 watt hps that im using right now but thats only cause i dont have any plants in flower at the moment. I like to tie my plants down to let the sides grow out. I usually let them go until they are about a foot tall before putting them into flower. I also cut the top cola off so the sides can catch up to the top. I just topped 2 of my plants yesterday and i'm trying to clone them by sticking them in water. I dont have any root gel or nutes besides some miracle grow but i dont like using it. I basically germ the seed throw it in dirt and water it.

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Nutrient disorder calculator

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Sexing your plant
Determining if all your hard work was spent on a lady....or a guy.

Some members input:

1. 2 throw them in flower and pick the males out...two cover lower branches with panda plastic for a 12-12 effect once
 again pick out males

2. First I put on some slow music then I give her some Vodka, When I switch the lights to 12/12.........oops what were we talking about?

3. I love the strains that show preflowers as soon as I see balls they go into the compost pile.

Women = good
Men = bad

4. I like to wait until the plants have 3 rd set of leaves.
That is usually 3-4 weeks.

I then switch them babies to 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark.(For the growing impaired)

If the are in total and complete darkness they should sex in 7-14 days.

The darker you can get the dark cycle the guicker they will show.

White hairs are girls. Keep the girls.
Little balls that eventually burst and spread pollen are the males.
Kill the males unless you want to take pollen for cross breading.

Sometimes you will get hermies and they can be sneaky.
They may appear to be female at first.
So the females, you'll find that you need to keep watching them to make sure they do not develop the male pollen sacs.
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The flowering cycle
The flowering cycle, again, is determined by the light cycle. Outside, it is a natural occurrence, as the days grow shorter, the plant
receives less sunlight, and starts to flower.

Inside all we have to do, is change the lights from our previous light cycle of 18/12, to 12/12, and this tells the plant to flower.

Some members input:

1. Honestly All I do is put the lights to 12/12 and start using bloom food. Observations
The ones started from clones flowered in a few days.
The ones started from seed took a couple of weeks before they started to flower.
This is my first time around and I really did not do anything elaborate. I used the same 400wt HPS that I vegged with.
 I had to stake one of the girls because her top was making her bow.

2. I flip the lights back to 12/12, I continue my vegetative nutrients, (or grow nutrients) for another 10 days or so into flowering,
because this is when the plant grows the most. I mix the vegetative nutrients with my bloom formula.
I start to switch her over to flowering nutrients, but hit her again with vegetative nutrients, about halfway through flowering.
This last time, I used feminized seeds, and saw flowers on the first day of flowering!
I also like to flush, or rather leach my soil grows throughout the flowering cycle, 2 to 3 times during flowering is usually enough.
I see a large growth spurt after doing the leaching.

3. After a month of Vegging. I flick over to 12/12 under a 600watt light and have the light 450mm away from the top of my girl.
I have my girl in a 20lt pot that drains at the bottom into another 20ltr pot that drains outside. I grow in CANNA COCO.
I put 7 litres of water through my girl a day when flowering. People have said im nuts, but i have a big bushy girl that growing up fast.
 The excess just drains off. The first water of the day i water around the trunk of the plant. The second water of the day, I water I
put around the outer edges of the pot. Seems to work well and get those little roots moving outward pretty quick. But the most
important thing is to get your Nutrient and ph correct. I use a nutrient that is made in Perth Western Australia its called GT COCO.
 Its made by GROTH TECHNOLOGY and there is are problems getting a regular supply. I really like the stuff  Has made my girl
healthy and strong. I have a great deal of fresh air coming into the room via 2 pretty strong intake fans I also run a carbon filter
on my extractor fan. I have 3 oscillating fans moving the air around the room. One fan at the base. One between the plant and
 the light and one blowing air around the top of the room.and I use CO2 powder at the base of my plant every day. All this is
sealed in an air tight room which remains at 50 degrees C.
Nothing comes in or out unless i want it to.

Recommendation: End the flowering cycle with only water for the last couple of feedings, you do not want to go through all the work
of growing your own herb, and have to taste nutrients in your cured product. The plant will use up all of its stored energy/nutrients
and give you  better tasting product this way. A good rule of thumb is, only water for the last week.

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When to harvest
The preferred way to harvest is by judging the color of the trichomes.
Trichomes are small appendages that look like hairs. They are produced by marijuana, and other plants. Female marijuana plants produce certain trichomes that are a rich source of THC. These trichomes start out clear, turn a milky color, then turn amber (light brown).

The trichomes in picture 1 are clear. After the plant has flowered, the trichomes start to turn a milky color (picture 2). In the later stages of flowering, trichomes will turn to a light brown color (picture 3). The amount of time required to get to this point depends on the marijuana strain and the growing conditions.

In picture 2 you can see the stems have started to turn from a clear color to a milky translucent color. For maximum THC content and a more cerebral high, harvest your plants when a majority of the trichomes on the plants in your garden are a fully milky translucent color.

You can wait until most of the trichomes have started to turn amber, but the resulting marijuana will produce more of a body stone than it would if plants were harvested earlier. The trichome in picture 3 is about 90% amber, with just a trace of the milky translucent color it previously possessed.

After the trichome is fully amber in color, the THC starts to degrade. This makes it very important to harvest marijuana at the time before the trichomes have attained a total amber color. If not, the marijuana will not be as potent as it could have been.

On your first harvest, if you are having a hard time judging when to cut the plants down, a good rough guide as to when to harvest is to wait until you see the first sign of amber trichomes on each plant.

Note that trichomes are too small to be seen properly with the human eye. To see them properly, you can use a 10x magnifying glass or a 20x to 70x pocket microscope. Radio shack sells a pocket microscope 60x for $10.00
The greatest concentration of trichomes can be found on the growing buds.

The pictures below, in order are, clear, milky and amber.

Here is a handy chart below that sums it all up

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How to cure your harvest

Curing your harvest is just like aging a fine scotch. There are many ways to do it, but if you take the time to do it properly,
you'll be left with a natural, smooth tasting smoke. There are many "quick drying" methods that certainly will work, but we are more concerned with keeping to the basics for now, and ending up with a quality product.

The proper way to cure your product, as Tony Soprano would to whack 'em. Cut it down low, and trim as much leaf as possible, You'll find it easier to do the trimming now, rather than after it is dried, as after it is dried, it would make a mess doing the trimming.
(I usually save all my trimmings, I use to make iso oil, but my new love is to make brownies with them, yummy!)

Moving on, we've cut our ladies down, and trimmed them, now our main concern, is to keep the humidity as low as possible, to avoid any mold growth. The best way to go about the curing is to hang your ladies from a chain, or a string, or some people like to place them on a screen.

Whichever method you choose, just make sure there is good air flow around all sides of your buds. I usually hang mine for about 5 days in a dark location. Light degrades THC. At this point, they seem dry to the touch, but what is happening here is that the outside is dry, but the center of the bud is still extremely wet. What you need to do now, is place them, loosely into a brown paper bag and close the top.

Now, after 24 hours, open the bag, and look, you'll notice the dampness, has been re-distributed throughout the bud, this is good, leave the bag open for a couple of hours, than seal it back closed again. You should do this "open & close routine" for about 3 more weeks.

After the 3 weeks has passed, you are now ready to sample some of your hard work, it is now cured.
Alot of people at this point, transfer the buds into glass mason jars to further cure the plant some more.

Some members input:

I cut the plants as low as possible, trim away as much leaf as i can then hang upside down for a few days to a couple weeks...then when the buds start feeling crisp on the outside i move them to the next step which is trimming them off the stalks an manicuring them then i place them in brown paper sacks for a week or 2...then on to the mason jars for an indefinite amount of time....for the first month I continually check the buds each day for mold or a mildew "ish" look...if I do find mold I just go back one step, if I got mold on the hanging then I cut the plants up and lay the buds on a screen in front of a fan for a week.

At the peak of trichome ripeness I cut every individual bud off, trim off all leaf, put it in a paper grocery bag, close the top and lay the bags on a top closet shelf. Every day I turn and open the bags and inspect the buds. When the moisture content is correct (1 to 5%) it is put in plastic containers/w lids and stacked in the bottom of the closet. Every week I inspect all of it to make sure there is no mold.
I dry to 1-5% because I am after long storage times. At that moisture content the bud cannot mold or mildew and will be as dry as dust so it must be handled carefully. Before the bud is smoked it is rehumidified to 8-15% moisture content so that it burns correctly and doesn't taste harsh.
Doing it this way eliminates most of the 'trichome coast' since it dries quickly but not too quickly.

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DIY stealth Rubbermaid growbox
Submitted by: Smokedoja

Some of my friends have been using these growbox's with great success...VERY discreet, good yields, low wattage (156 watt), low cost ($88) and simple to set up and maintain!

I just got done making mine, and I documented it so I could share it with the good people at greenpassion.

Here are some pictures of the finished product followed by detailed instructions on how to build your own
pict0306.jpg pict0304.jpg pict0299.jpg pict0281.jpg za2.jpg za1.jpg

OK, heres the list of stuff to grab...kinda in order
1.Two 21.5 gallon tubs
2.roll of tin foil tape (or mylar with some double-sided tape)
3.Two 3socket 18" light fixtures from lowes (item#122251.ask em)
4.Two 26 watt 3packs of GE CFL bulbs
5.Extension cord
6.12volt AC adapter
7.Computer fan
-~you can replace the 26 watt bulbs with 42 watt bulbs if you want, giving you a total of 252 watts~-

So to start off, grab a couple 22 gallon rubbermaid tubs, or any size really, 35 gallon tubs are good too, and smother the insides with tin foil tape, or mylar.
pict0192.jpg pict02101.jpg
don't forget to get the bottoms, i forgot to get a pic.(stoned as hell)

Next, Take the light fixtures out and remove the ground screw
get rid of that white shiiit...its heavy as hell and can make the box tip
and now you're left with the insides. (much lighter)
so to make em fit in the container, all you need to do is grab some wire or metal cutters, probably some plyers would work, then cut and bend the ends of the flimsy aluminum...(if you have a bigger box size you wont even need to bend this stuff, its just for the smaller box's)
pict02061.jpg pict0207.jpg pict0201.jpg
now just do the other side and set these aside for now.

ok next you put the fixtures in the tub and mark the 3 holes you need to drill, 2 for the screws and 1 for the wires (on each side)

Drill the holes, make sure the middle hole for the wires is big enough for them to fit.

Grab some screws
mount and tighten up
now you'll have the 3 wires (pos,neg,ground) dangling outside the box on each side.
Grab that orange extension cord that you got for 3.99 and cut a 3 ft chunk out of it.
with some scissors cut a couple inches of the orange plastic off each end to expose the wires.
Take some cheapo wire cutters (I got mine from Meijers for 4.99)
and strip away the tips of the positive,negetive and ground wires on each end of the 3 ft chunk.

strip the ends of the wires from each fixture (the ground wire is already bare)
match em up!
twist em up...
cap with some wire nuts and wrap em up with some electrical tape.
wrap it up real good now

Now, take a nice long chunk of the "plug-in" part of the cord.
and strip
now match up the colors (remember the light fixtures ground wire is bare)
and twist em all up...light fixture, 3 ft of cord that you just attached to the other side, and the long "plug-in" chunk of cord.
now cap with wire nuts and wrap em up good!
REAL good.....

it should look somethin like this
screw those bulbs in and give it some l i g h t !
its time for a break with my Volcano!!!

ok, now its time for some ventilation...
I order a 120mm computer fan from ,they're fast....
use a cd to trace a circle on the top of the box, its the perfect size!
I bought a cheap 10 dollar soldering tool. I recommend these because its so easy to cut out holes.
zaa5.jpg zaa6.jpg
now just mount the fan so it blows air out, I accidentally mounted it the wrong way the first time.

For some air flow, you need a passive intake...cut a hole near the bottom of the tub, I put a pvc tube to redirect light and then just caulked it..
zaa1.jpg zaa2.jpg

.....stay tuned for "how to wire a computer fan"

wiring a computer fan is alot like wiring the lights... real simple...

buy a 12v AC power adapter
then cut the end off and strip the wires from the computer fan and the AC adapter.....twist em up! (with most AC adapters you will be able to tell which is positive and which is negative, as you can see the ones from Radioshack are white and you can't tell)
cap and wrap
zaq3.jpg zaq4.jpg

Just to make sure that the top doesn't fall off at any time, poke some holes around the edges so you can put pins in to secure everything together

Thats it!
it should look something like this

I hope this helps you guys out, now all thats left is.......

I love looking at pics....don't you?
zaw2.jpg zaw1.jpg za1.jpg mm.jpg

100_0871.jpg 100_0427-1.jpg mmmm.jpg


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How to build a flip flop
Submitted by Fredfarted

You use a Flip Flop to control 2 lights from 1 ballast, The ballast stays on 24/7 and a time connected to the flip box will switch the power from one bulb to the next.

The advantages:

You get 2 lights from one ballast.
NO power spikes the power is on 24/7
You leave no 12 on 12 off power footprint.
You can have 2 bloom rooms running off on half the ballasts.
Longer ballast life as the ballast works the hardest on startup.

This will build an eight light flip, you can build any size you want the principles are the same.

This works with 220v or 110v each power configuration is exactly the same the 110 has 1 hot and one neutral and the 220 has 2 hot s and no neutral.

Head off to your favorite GROW store Home Depot.

I was doing some research on flip/flops, and decided 2 things...

1) most grow shops do not carry them because they cut into business.
2) They are fairly easy to build. (Just be careful to watch which wire goes where.)

FIRST OFF LET ME SAY THAT I KNOW I FORGOT THE GROUNDS FROM THE PLUGS. I was smoking some fine hash and realized it later. I do not have pictures of it installed the correct way. But it should be easy for ANYONE to grasp.

OK on with the build!!!!

First off we need to get some supplies...
1) square power box $25
2) (2) 2 place outlet boxes $4
3) (2) 4 place outlet boxes $7
4) 6 outlets $5 (for box of 10)
5) screws $2
6) nuts $2
7) washers $2
8) pvc 1/2 cable connectors $5 (for 5 pack)
9) metal 1/2" cable/box screw connectors $6 (for a 10 pack)
10) wire connectors $13 (box of 100) 14 gauge
11) 10' of wire 14 gauge (4 wire, red, black, white, copper) $6
12) 4' of 14 gauge (3 wire, black, white, green)
13) male plug $4
14) bag of 100 zip ties $3
15) 2 place outlet cover (2 of them) $3
16) 4 place outlet covers (2 of them) $5
17) a 12 pack
18) 2 hrs of time

Total $94 from home depot

now 4 relays from the internet $20 x 4 = $80

Now lets get started shall we???

First we need some relays like these...

Then we need to lay them out in the utility box.

Next comes marking the holes for the screws

Now lets drill some holes..

Pilot holes first!
then proper size holes

Now we need some nuts, screws, and washers...

Ok time to place the relays back on the board and attach...

Now it's time to make some wire!

Here is a tip, instead of buying 14 gauge wire separate, buy some 14/3 wire and strip it down. Simply pull out 2 foot sections at a time.
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202wire.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202wire_result.jpg

Time to install the boxes...

punch out the metal 1/2 punch out, an insert box connector in hole. Next insert connector into already punched out hole in utility box. Attach screw and tighten.

Now to make it nice and strong drill through a nail hole in the plug box through to the utility box. Insert screw, nut, washers, and tighten.
Attached Thumbnails

Ok let’s run some wire...

First let’s hook up the power IN wires to the relays, and thread out to the IN Power plugs.
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202power_in.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202power_links.jpg

next run the wire from the out power side of the relays to the power OUT plugs. Note the red wires for one half of the plug, and the black for the OTHER half of the plugs. DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO TO KEEP THE WIRES IN ORDER.

Now you might be asking me what do you mean HALF a plug????

well plugs you buy in the store are connected with a jumper, so one set of wires charges all receptacles.

What we have to do is snip the jumpers because we want each plug to operate independently...
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plug_conversion.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plug_conversion_2.jpg

Alright, lets get wiring those boxes...

I marked the white wire side (the power in white wires) of the power out wires (red/black) So i kept the power flowing the same side of the plugs.
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202power_in.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202attach_plug_in.jpg

Next make sure you are wiring up the RIGHT out plugs for in plugs. and decide which you want to be hot with power off/on.

The relay has a 120volt coil in it... When you apply power it becomes a magnet and brings the connectors down to engage the second set of contacts.

That is what i mean by power on/off.

here are some wiring pictures, note the wire colors. DO NOT MIX IT UP TAKE YOUR TIME!
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202out_boxes.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plugout_done.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plugout_wires.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202relay_power_installed.jpg

now we install the power wires to the relays and connect them all together to the extension cord wire with a male plug we have installed. This is a 120v extension cord just cut off the female end and attach it to the coil screws. This is what you will plug into your timer.

Then attach the grounds.

Time to install the sockets to their boxes and attach the face plate coverings!
diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plug_in_view.jpg diy-how-build-flip-flop-12202plugout_view.jpg

Finally MARK each plug (i bought white ones) so you know which is which, and attach the protective cover to the utility.

Here is a better explanation of what wire goes where diy-how-build-flip-flop-7541relaywire.jpg
To use this You will need to modify your cord coming from your ballast to a 110 male plug just cut off the plug and attach a new one.
Then you will need to modify your cord going to the bulb with another 110 male plug. Just make sure you get the good heavy plugs, Don't go cheap here.

Now Plug in as follows, Ballast need to be on 24/7 from power out of ballast to in side of flip box from out of flip to each bulb. don't forget to plug the switching cord into a timer set for 12 on 12 off

Here's two places you can order the relays from if you cant find them at a electrical supply house. Nte relay R04-11A30-120 at Wholesale Electronic inc. Wholesale Electronics or at Source Research Inc. A Franchised Electronics Components Distributor, both places will cost you $22.90 each.

You use a Flip Flop to control 2 lights from 1 ballast, The ballast stays on 24/7 and a time connected to the flip box will switch the power from one bulb to the next.

The advantages:

You get 2 lights from one ballast.
NO power spikes the power is on 24/7
You leave no 12 on 12 off power footprint.
You can have 2 bloom rooms running off on half the ballasts.
Longer ballast life as the ballast works the hardest on startup.

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Make your own compost
Submitted by Shaman

1. Find a shady out of the way spot in your yard that is easy to access, Try to keep it in view so you don't forget about it.
Make sure the soil around the bin has good drainage.

2. Make a bin.

3. Add brown materials.
Add a 6-inch layer of "brown" organic matter -- such as hay, straw, old leaves, and sawdust -- to the bottom of the container.

4. Add green materials.
Add a 2 to 3 inch layer of "green" organic matter, such as green grass clippings, manure, table scraps, or even high-nitrogen fertilizer, such as cottonseed meal, on top of the brown layer.

5. Repeat these layers, watering each one as you go, until the pile is 4 to 5-feet tall and fills the bin.
A smaller pile won't heat up well and a larger pile can be difficult to manage.

6. Within two days, mix the layers together thoroughly.
Particle size should be varied, smaller particles hasten decomposition.

7. Cover the pile with a tarp to keep rain away and preserve moisture.
If the pile gets too soggy or too dry, it won't heat up.

8. What to add to the pile or composter: What you put in the compost pile is up to you -- just remember that it needs to be from an organic material. Here's a short list of possibilities:

• Hay, straw

• Leaves

• Kitchen scraps (egg shells, old bread, vegetable and fruit scraps)

• Animal manure, except for dog, cat, pig, or human

• Old vegetables, flowers, or trimmings from trees and shrubs

• Sawdust/Wood chips

• Marijuana shake/sticks/branch's

• Shredded black and white newspaper. (In the past, color printing used heavy metals in the ink. Most color printing now uses soy-based inks, but it's better to avoid them in the garden altogether to be on the safe side.)

**Remember to turn the pile when it cools down.**
Using a garden fork, remove the outside layers and put them aside. Remove the inside layers into another pile and then switch. Place the outside layers in the center of the new pile and the inside layers along the outside of the new pile.
Then let it cook and repeat....

**Here is a list of Carbon/Nitrogen Ratios of Various Materials.**
(Material, C/N Ratio)
Table scraps, 15:1

Grass clippings, 19:1

Old manure, 20:1

Fresh alfalfa hay, 12:1

Fruit waste, 25:1

Corn stalks, 60:1

Old leaves, 80:1

Straw, 80:1

Paper, 170:1

Sawdust, 500:1

Wood, 700:1

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Outdoor Grow Guide
Submitted by Shaman

Finding your spot;
Finding a good spot is hard. One where the animal won't get it, "PIG's", Rabbits, Deer, And the dreaded Pothead who will smoke your stash with out you!!!! So finding a spot no one will go is a must!! I like Swamp's, Rugged Hillside's(southside), And thick impenetrable brush. If you yourself don't want to go in there it's more than likely a good spot so check it out..

Are you living in a City and think I can't do that, Just remember most City's are surround by forest's or scattered patches of bush, SO GET OUT THERE!!

Site prep;
I like to prep my spot in the cool fall air. reduceing the chances of being seen in the spring by reduceing the work and time spent in the bush planting.. So right after harvest I head out to my spots. Cutting and clearing trees and brush. And lugging in soil, I like to use your basic potting soil mixed with sheep manure 3/1-soil/manure. Make sure those roots have lots of room to grow threw out the year by digging deep hole's,atleased 1.5-2feet wide by 1.5-2feet deep. Or use large grow bags burlap or plastic, Also elevated beds work well on rocky/swamp land that is hard to dig or plant in.

Clones are the only way to go if you want a no fuss Sensimillia Garden. I like my clone's in cups with a good root structure, standing about 6-12 inch's tall before they go out. Remember to get your babies ready for the hot sun, by placeing them outside for a few hours a day till its time to plant them in their final home. this will help to climatize them and reduce burn from the hot sun.

Seeds or the "LittleJohnyWeedSeed" way is a lot more work, you will have to keep going back and forth checking for males. This could bring unwanted heat to your spot, Some one could see you or the trail you will ware in to the earth..
I hardly ever plant before the May 24weekend(Canada). This will reduce the risk of frost killing your little ones.
After you get them in the soil and give them their first drink it is wise to lay a mulch around the base of the plant, this will help to protect the moisture in the soil from evaporating under the hot rays of the sun.

I only water on the driest of days, Nature does a pretty good job on her own most of the year.
Although a few good feedings with Veg nutes threw out the season is never a bad idea.
Once fruiting/flowering starts I like to feed my girls twice a week for the first 2-3weeks with a bloom fert, something like N5.P10.K5..
It is fall and to smell of bud is in the air.
Most strains are ready in late September early October, Make sure to check the Trich's and harvest before the bud rot sets in.

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The Dip n' Stick Cloning Method
Submitted by btdt

This is a cloning method that I have successfully used for many years.

All surfaces, areas, tools and accessories should be cleaned and disinfected with a light bleach solution and then rinsed clean with plain water. Wash your hands well before starting the procedure.

Do not blaze a fatty/cig while carrying out this process.

Have ALL needed tools and accessories ready to go before taking any cuts.

these are the tools you'll need:

a new scalpel, exacto knife, or double-sided razor blade (no scissors)
Dip N' Grow rooting hormone ...available at many nurseries/garden shops
RapidRooters. RootRoit cubes, or rockwool cubes
propagation tray/w/ dome
Attached Thumbnails

you will also obviously need plants with cloneable shoots available to take.

These plants in pic # 1 are stretched from seed but the clones from her may tighten and grow short/fat plants.

Picture #2 shows the clones/cuts that can be taken from the bottom of the plant. (each is circled in blue)
Attached Thumbnails
dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-2.jpg   dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-3.jpg

Mix the Dip N' Grow according to the instructions/levels required for the type of cut you are taking. This stuff smells a lot like fingernail polish but it will pop roots on a rock...
Attached Thumbnails

I usually take the entire growing shoot if the cut is from the bottom of the plant. (as shown in the picture) If the cut is from elsewhere on the plant and the shoot is longer you can take it just above the place on the branch where new growth is emerging. Always use a very sharp and clean cutting instrument for these cuts.
Attached Thumbnails

After cutting the clone from the plant, I then remove all but 2 sets of leaves, leaving the top and the next set down. All other leaves are chopped off, leaving 1/4" of the stem as it comes off the main shoot. (as shown in the picture) These stems will help anchor the plant into the cube and prevent it from coming out or from allowing the cut to spin freely in the hole. (not good)

I then dip the cut in the Dip N' Grow for about 10 seconds while I prepare the cube/Rapidrooter...
Attached Thumbnails
dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-7.jpg   dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-8.jpg   dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-9.jpg

To prepare the cube or RapidRooter (I prefer Rapidrooters but am using rockwool in this illustration because I have no RR's on hand) I take my scalpel and gently route-out/disturb the factory/formed hole. Usually the fatory-formed hole onlyt goes about 1/2 way down into the cube..I prefer to route the hole out and make it deeper to the point where the scalpel/knife point ALMOST breaks through the bottom of the cube/RR. This allows more stem into the cube to form roots and also keeps the grower from jamming a pliable/weak stem down into the cube and BENDING it. If the stem were to bend on insertion...the clone MUST be re-cut, re-dipped, and restuck into the cube. (w/the hole now routed out deeper to accept it).
Attached Thumbnails

Once the cut is secure in it's new home, I place the cut into a propagation tray and cover it with a dome. From here until the time I see roots in about 1 week to 10 days, I will check the moisture in the cube/RR and keep it moist to wet ut it will NOT be standing in ANY water that may collect in the bottom of the tray. If the medium is too wet it may promote stem rot/stem mush and the stem will turn grey/brown at the top of the cube and the clone will fall over and die.

I do not mist my clones as some do. I do not feel it necessary with a dome and proper moisture in the medium/cube..etc. If I feel there is insufficient moisture in the "system"..I will mist the inside of the DOME itself..but not the clones. I was always told that if the clones are misted or are given a foliar feed it will lengthen the time it takes them to put out roots..the reason being is that the clone doesn't feel the immediate need to root to survive because it is being given ample food and water through the leaves. None of this is proven..and none of it is up for debate here. I only know that i've followed the instructions I was given and have had 90-100% success with my clones on all occasions.........except those where yer high and do something STUPID like leave the lid off the tray...

The first pic is the first clone hitting the tray. The second pic is all 4 clones taken for this tutorial with the dome already on and propped up for only a SECOND to take the photo.

Until they have ample roots the dome will remain on 24/7 lighting unless there is too much moisture in the system and then I will take it off for 5 -10 minutes...ALWAYS sitting and WATCHING them and NEVER leaving the dome off and walking away. They can CRAP OUT ON YOU in mere seconds if they are exposed to too much DRY AIR.
Attached Thumbnails
dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-11.jpg   dip-n-stick-cloning-method-clone-12.jpg  

Expose the clone to 70-75 degree air temps...up to 80-85 is OK..but watch them closer at these temps for stem rot. I do NOT use a heating will FRY EM. If it's WINTER and the room is below CAN use a haeting mat..but you need to place a few layers of TOWELS in between the tray and the mat to keep the temp in the 7--80 degree range. Many mat internally set for 15-20 degrees over the ambient AIR if it's 75 in yer room the may may get to 95..again..NOT GOOD.

For light...I use floros..but HID can be used from a distance of 4-5 FT. Think "way off to the side"...barely getting any light really...if you DO use HID. For floros or CFL's....the same rule applies...keep em a few feet away..just offering a good amount of indirect lighting. If it's side light and the cuts bend to the light after a few days...rotate the tray 180 degrees.

Once the clone has rooted...generally in 7-14 can then begin to SLOWLY take the dome off the tray. I do it over a 2 day period..making sure the cubes are WELL WATERED..thenleaving the lid ajar overnight...then a bit more the next day...removing it fully that night or the next AM.

At this point the clone can be planted in soil..hydroton, coco, etc...etc...etc. and can start to be fertilized. About the only thing you can't do to it at this point is get it out of it's cube/RR home.

The clone will be an EXACT representation of the plant it came from. Given the *same* conditions and growing approaches will be roughly the same size as the mom and will offer the same amount of bud time and time again as the parental plant offered.

Contrary to the beliefs of some, you can take a clone of a clone of a clone of a clone etc...etc...etc. to nifinity and not lose yield or potenct as ong as the cut/plant/strain REMAINS HEALTHY.

You can keep a "mother plant" and take cuts from her every 8 weeks on an 8 week strain..or you can simply take cuts from the bottom of every plant in your garden every 8 weeks on an 8 week strain and root those and continue on forever that way. It all depends on your preference and you available space.

I will edit this as needed...but that is the GENERAL idea of the process.
If you have an additional approach to taking clones or would like to illustrate how you approach/carry out the process you are familair with, please start a new thread and share your knowledge there to keep this tutorial intact.

Remember, this is not the only way, this is just one of the ways I have done it successfully.

good luck....and remember...CLONING IS SHARING.

Attached Thumbnails

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Green’s cloning 101
Submitted by Green_Noboody

First, what is cloning?
Cloning is nothing else then a term for taking parts of a plant and making it root so you can grow a genetic clone of a motherplant. So you take a leaf and propagate it in some way.

What ways are there to clone?
There are many ways to clone, the simplest way is to cut a leaf of a plant and let it sit in water till the roots grow. Now, as the human being proves to be quit inventive if it wants something there are more ways to do it of cause, a little list of the major methods:

-simple water cloning (leaf stuck in a cub with water)
-the elaborated form of water cloning would be that the clone is stuck into a grow medium as a grodan plug and this then be placed into a DWC or aerophonic misting unit.

-soil based version of cloning would be either be that the cutting is stuck in soil or a jiffy tab.

-alternative you can clone in a fish tank by filling the base of it with a medium as perlite or similar.

My preferred methods:

I use to clone in several ways, depending on what I want to do – but always with the focus on the fact that I grow only small quantities of plants per grow. In addition I’m a fan of soil based growing – I love the dirt. Due to these I manly clone by using jiffy pellets or water-cub method. Both can be easy elaborated to your needs by replacing the jiffy pellets by a grodan plug or instead of using cubs the use of an aerophonic unit.

The cub ‘n’ Water method:

What you need:
-a plant to take clones from
-fresh razor blade (I use every knife I have at the moment to do it but that’s green’s way and is knifes are razor-like!!) never us a scissors for this job!!
-some sort of drinking cubs, they should be as light-proof as possible as light will kill your roots.
-Kitchen wraps film and maybe some tin foil.
-Some window sill with not too much direct sunlight during the day
-If you want to kick it a heating mat and some cloning agent

What you do:

-cut clones from a plant in vegetation state – you should use only young leaves for this. You take the blade out of the paper wrap and make a vertical cut thru the leaf’s petiole – watch out that you have at least an inch to work with!
-If you want to use an cloning hormone/agent dip or roll the stem in it now
-Cut the end of the stem/petiole of the leaf in 45° angle to open more surface for water to penetrated – as you would do with fresh flowers too.
-Punch a hole thru the wrap and/or tin foil over your cub that you already filled with water
-Stick the cutting thru that hole
-Let it sit in a warm spot with not too much light
-Mist is frequently if they start to go limb
-Check from time to time if you see roots

for being planted into soil or other mediums.

The jiffy pellet method:

What you need:
-a plant to take clones from
-fresh razor blade (I use every knife I have at the moment to do it but that’s green’s way and is knifes are razor-like!!) never us a scissors for this job!!
-Pre-soaked jiffy pellets, let those soak over night so you can be sure that they are ready the next day. The same goes for grodan plugs too!
-A dome to have them grow in there
-Some window sill with not too much direct sunlight during the day or a place in your grow with a single CFL/floro tube above them.
-If you want to kick it a heating mat and some cloning agent

What you do:

-- cut clones from a plant in vegetation state – you should use only young leaves for this. You take the blade out of the paper wrap and make a vertical cut thru the leaf’s petiole – watch out that you have at least an inch to work with!
-you want to use an cloning hormone/agent dip or roll the stem in it now
-Cut the end of the stem/petiole of the leaf in 45° angle to open more surface for water to penetrated – as you would do with fresh flowers too.
-Stick the clones in your prepared medium (jiffies or grodan plugs)
- them in the dome, mist them down and let time to its work
-Frequent misting, if the look not limb twice a day, if they start to go limp more often.
-Let it sit in a warm spot with not too much light

a piece of wire or some shashlik spits you tie together really help to keep jiffies with the clones from falling over - killing the clone.

When the roots penetrated the medium as those here you are fine to transplant them.

You should replant them earlier then shown here, as soon as you see 2-3 root coming thru they are more then ready.

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Quick cure, bud drying box
Submitted by JollyGreenGiant

(This is a simple diy project, for the small grower, but this idea can be expanded upon for a much larger harvest)

So I harvested my one plant that was in DWC and went into soil, I expect to get about an oz after it is cured. I got some pretty nice buds from it too.
(the one with the rootrot)

I really can't wait, and want to smoke some right away! So I built this quick drier box, check this out:

First pic is an un-assuming 12 pack of st pauli girl

2nd picture shows the fan I installed:

The next pic shows the air intake hole I cut near the bottom:

This last picture shows the divider that I place inside vertically, after cutting some holes in it for the air to pass through:
(place the bud over the holes to force the air through the bud)

For an improved version, place a 40 watt lightbulb in front of the air inake.
However be very careful when adding any extra heat.
Test on a small bud first.


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Mrs fred's Cloning method
Submitted by FredFarted

This is Mrs Fred cloning method. I had to make her breakfast this morning to get her to write this!
She clones using rapid rooters. We have also cloned in the past with a homemade bubbler. We prefer the rapid rooter!

The following is Mrs Fred typing....(I gotta go make breakfast!)

As soon as your existing plants that are in veg manifest multiple shoots that vary in length from 2”-4”, it is time to clone. I have cloned from mothers, veg plants and plants two weeks into bloom. The following is a list of supplies that you will need:

A pair of clean sharp scissors
Quick Start soil cube starters
Plastic six pack plant holders
Plastic plant tray with clear dome lid
Rooting hormone (powder or gel)
Cloning solution (water with b’cuzz root added to it)
Spray bottle
A warm environment (70-75 degrees)

mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-020.jpg mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-022.jpg mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-018.jpg

When looking at your plants you will notice fan leaves. Just above the fan leaves is where the shoots originate from.

(The plant in this pic is not quite ready to clone yet but you get the idea!)

I try to choose the longest strongest looking shoots to clone. Using your scissors carefully cut at a 45 degree angle removing the shoot from above the fan leaf without disturbing the fan leaf.

All but the top 2 to 3 leaves are cut from the clone to focus the energy and nutrient uptake. Some use a razor blade to cut and I have also tried this but I prefer scissors. As long as the equipment is sterile, I think it’s a matter of personal preference.

In Fred’s never ending quest to make improvements to the operation, he has suggested that the base of the clone be either cut or scarified using a razor blade to encourage root growth. Although I have tried this, the time investment never really paid off in noticeable root growth.(He’s really good at suggesting extra work for someone else)!

Take the shoot and dip the end in cloning solution immediately as this seals and ensures that no air can infiltrate it. If this happens the clone could die. Next, dip the clone into the rooting hormone.(1/4” coverage at the base of the shoot is good) We use Schultz rooting powder its cheap at Home Depot. We have use more expensive stuff too but the end result is the same so just go cheap!

Place the shoot into the soil cube at the hole site. Make sure the shoot is seated firmly in the cube. Place into the six pack plant holder. Repeat this process until you have taken all the clones you need. Place the six pack plant holders into the plastic plant tray.

Water thoroughly with the cloning solution then put some cloning solution into the spray bottle. The last step is to spray the clones and the inside of the clear dome lid of the plant tray. Place the clear lid on top of the plant tray and walk away. Return daily to mist both the plants and the dome lid.

Here are a few tips that I have learned from experience:

  1. Make sure that the environment is fairly warm. If it is too cold the clones will not grow roots.
  2. The ideal cloning time is two weeks.
  3. The dome should stay on the clones for at least a week.
  4. When you remove the dome make sure that you keep the clones well watered as they are more likely to dry out.
  5. I try to water from the bottom as it encourages the roots to find the water. I have also left the dome on for the entire two weeks, but this can be tricky because the clones can develop mold.
  6. When you first clone the clones appear to be laying down. This is totally normal. A couple of hours under the dome and the clones will stand at attention.
  7. To allow your clones to perform at their best make sure upon reuse of equipment that it is thoroughly cleaned. I use a tablespoon of bleach to a sink full of plain hot water to sterilize the plant holders and trays.
  8. If it is necessary to take a lot of clones. They can be cut at the same time as long as the next steps immediately follow. I have also taken clones and placed them in a zip lock bag with moist paper towels and stored them in the refrigerator until a few days later. When doing this I usually make an extra cut to the clone before placing it in the plant tray. This ensures a fresh cut to take the rooting hormone.

We have a cloning station That Fred built me. It has 2 4' shop lights mounted and shelves for supplies. mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-019.jpg

After the clones root we place the rabid rooter in a rock wool cube place a light cover on the cube mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-024.jpgand sit it in the Veg flood tray. mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-023.jpg mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-025.jpg mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-026.jpg mrs-freds-cloning-method-0109-027.jpg

Within 2 weeks they will be over 14" high and ready to be place into the bloom rooms.

Thats is folks! I will have to admit the Mrs gets very good results from her methods. We have been growing the same plant for 3 yrs now.

Well there it is and it’s not nearly as intimidating as some would have you believe. Just give it a try and Happy Cloning!

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CFL Tutorial
Submitted by thenoffya

I am a CFL grower by necessity, and I have done a bit of research on them as a result. I hope you will find the following information helpful.  This is merely for informative purposes.

cfl-tutorial-4240_cfl.jpg cfl-tutorial-ge-bulb.jpg

Pros and cons of CFLs
Cheap - most regular size bulbs cost less than $9
Low heat per bulb - most bulbs can be touched while lit, and can be moved closer to plants
Maneuverable - plants can be literally surrounded by cfls
Available - can be bought in almost any large retailer and many supermarkets and drugstores
Simple - no exterior ballast needed, fits into most regular incandescent sockets

Medium amount of lumens – multiple bulbs are needed to equal output of HID lights
More heat per watt than HID, albeit possibly spread out more
Depending on the setup, possibly complex wiring issues
No standard color temperature language yet

The compact fluorescent was originally invented at GE in 1973. However, they were not really mass produced until 1980, and have only gained popularity as of late, due to being "green" or environmentally friendly. CFLs work the same way that regular fluorescent lights work. A sealed glass tube containing an inert gas, usually argon, and a small amount of mercury, is kept at a low pressure. The glass tube is also coated on the inside by a phosphor powder. On each end of the tube is an electrode. When a current is sent through the tube, it shoots from one end of the tube to the other in the form of free electrons, the basic unit of electric current. When these free electrons collide with a mercury atom, the electrons revolving around the mercury atom gain a relatively huge amount of energy, and jump up to another energy level. However, it cannot stay at that energy level for long, and when it drops back down, it emits a photon. In this instance, the mercury releases a photon in the ultraviolet wavelength. This photon strikes the phosphor coating of the glass. The phosphor atoms do the same thing as the mercury atoms, in that one of their electrons absorbs the energy from the photon, and spits it back out, this time in a wavelength that we can see. The light spectrum depends on the type of phosphor used to coat the glass. Since the light produced is usually of a narrow wavelength depending on the phosphor, most fluorescents have more than one type of phosphor. Using different phosphors varies the light emitted.

One common mistake is not knowing what a bulbs actual wattage is. A few months ago, on another site, I saw a post that was titled something like "Check out my new grow, 800 watts of cfls". When I clicked on the link and began reading, I noticed that the person had mistakenly thought the INCANDESCENT EQUIVALENT of the cfls was important to growers. The person only had about 200 watts of power, and got verbally abused for not knowing the difference. The producers of cfls are the ones who are really at fault here, because almost all packaging has the incandescent equivalent of the bulb marked prominently. That number is not important for growers, though. The important numbers are the actual wattage and the light output, or lumens. The actual wattage is what you will pay each month in your electric bill to run the bulb. In general, the actual wattage is about one fourth of the incandescent equivalent.
Because of differing efficacies (see next section), watts per area do not make sense as a general rule of thumb. Instead, it is the lumens per area that is important.

Without getting too scientific, lumens are what make a plant grow. In general, the more lumens shining on the plant the better. Much of what I have read says 1000 to 2000 lumens per square foot for vegging, and 3000 to 5000 lumens per square foot for flowering. In general, most cfls have a lumen/watt ratio, or efficacy, somewhere around 65, but usually between 55 and 75. Smaller cfls general have lower efficacies, and larger cfls have slightly higher efficacies. This is great compared to incandescent bulbs, which average between 8 and 20 lumens/watt. However, it doesn't hold a candle to hps and mh lights, which usually get between 100 and 150 lumens/watt.
So cfls are fairly efficient, but you need multiple cfls working together to grow.

To calculate the cost of using a cfl, or anything that draws power, divide the wattage of the cfl by 1000. Next, multiply that number by the number of hours per day the light is on. Then, multiply by the number of days in your billing cycle. Finally, multiply by the cost of electricity in KWHr (Kilowatt Hours), which should be stated on your bill. This is what it costs to run that single bulb for a month.
Example: My current grow has 6 30 watt bulbs = 180 watts running 12 hours a day. December has 31 days, and I'll assume my cost of electricity is 14 cents per KWHr. I then have a bill of 180/1000*12*31*.14 = $9.38.
It is simple, really. Note that since cfls save electricity and therefore, money, putting cfls throughout your house or apartment can completely eliminate the spike in the electric bill from growing!

Just because you can grab a fluorescent tube without being harmed, does not mean you can do it with cfls. Because the tube is coiled around itself, it creates more heat in a much smaller space than a four foot tube. That is not to say that it gets even close to as hot as an incandescent bulb. But for safety, I would recommend letting any bulb over 25 watts cool a little before touching. Also, I wouldn't let my plants touch any bulb larger than 13 watts. Remember, ventilation is extremely important.

What the heck is color temperature?
Technically, color temperature means the temperature of an ideal black body radiator at which the color of the light source and the black body are identical. (A black body is a theoretical radiator and absorber of energy at all electromagnetic wavelengths.) Thus, for a 2700K light bulb, the blackbody would be 2700 Kelvin, or approximately 4860 degrees Fahrenheit. What does this mean to a grower? A plant in nature is used to different having a cycle of light throughout its life span. Beginning in spring (fall in the southern hemisphere), the plant is subjected to many long days of light at a high temperature, usually between 5000K and 6000K. This light is very white, and somewhat bluish. Later in the plants life, it sees more and more red light, which helps it to know when to flower. The scientific reason for this is that during shorter days, the sun is not directly overhead, and due to the wavelengths of light, more blue light is bounced off the atmosphere than red light. Some people think backwards (helped in part by the producers of cfls, see below), that a red color is hotter than a blue color. If you light your lighter (I'm sure most people reading this have a lighter), you'll notice that the flame is blue at the bottom, where it is warmest, and yellow at the top. The reason you won't see any red is that the gas burns too quickly for the flame to be red. However, the red can be seen in a fire. Note that in the picture below, the top of the list on the right coincides with the bottom of the color scale.

So which bulbs should I get?
For vegetative growth, you will want bulbs which are at the high end of the spectrum (5000K to 6500K). For flowering, you will want bulbs at the low end of the spectrum (2700K to 3500K). Unfortunately, some manufacturers think that the color spectrum is too confusing for people, so they came up with other words to describe the color spectrum of the bulb. The typical incandescent bulb is 2700 Kelvin and produces a "Warm white" or "Soft white" light. At 4000 Kelvin, a "Cool White" fluorescent light is sometimes called "neutral". A "daylight" fluorescent light is rated at 5000 to 6500 Kelvin and provides cool light with a blue tint. Notice that a "cool white" bulb emits light at a hotter temperature than a "warm white" bulb. Confusing, huh? Note that the light temperature does not affect the temperature of the bulb itself. Also, be aware that the phrases used above are not standard. For example, Sylvania "daylight" bulbs are rated at 3500 Kelvin. This confusion will be coming to an end soon, though, since Energy Star 4.0 guidelines will require labeling all cfls with the color temperature

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DIY Odor Neutralizing Machine

You will need:

1. A five gallon bucket
2. A "muffin" fan, or a round fan of some sort that has the motor built into the compact frame of the fan. (See pics and you will understand.)
3. A drill
4. A one pound container of Soil Moist, which is a water absorbing crystal. You can find it at almost all nurseries and gorw shops.
5. ONA, or Odor Neutralizing Agent. YOu can get it at most grow shops or "baby" shops for new mommies.
6. A 5 gallon bucket lid, which may be optional.

Step 1.

Get yourself a muffin fan, or a Durex brand or Holmes brand circular fan with base. They are very common at Wal-Mart and can usually be bought for less than $8 US. The reason you should get this brand of fan is because after you have removed the base, it fits perfectly into a five gallon bucket.

Step 2.

Using a flat screwdrive, pry of the nubs on the base and remove the screws.

Step 3.

Remove the fan from the base. Keep all the parts in case you might want the fan again someday.

Step 4.

Place the fan into the five gallon bucket, frontside up. If you boght the holmes brand fan pictures here it will fit VERY snugly. You don't even have to secure it in place.

(If it is smaller than the opening, then cut a hole, smaller than the diameter of the fan, into the bucket lid. Use some floral wire and secure the fan to the lid so that you can place the lid onto the bucket.)

Step 5.

Drill about 8 or 10 holes around the bucket.

Step 6.

Remove the fan/lid and put about 9 cups of water into the bucket. Then put about 1 cup of the ONA into the bucket and mix it up. Be careful, it can smell pretty strong at first

Step 7.

Put about a cup or two of the soil moist into the bucket. Make sure that all of the liqued is absorbed. You don't have to use alot! The crystals expand to about 50 times their size.

Step 8.

Set the fan on the lowest setting and put it back on the bucket. Plug it in and put it somewhere in the corner of your grow room. I don't actually have mine in the closet itself...

You will notice a difference in about 5 minutes!

You may need to tweak it for your own grow room, but that's the basic design. Thanks!

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To Flush, or not to flush....

If your pondering that old saying right about now.....
If it's yellow let it mellow, or if it's brown flush it down
Your obviously in the wrong forum!

Moving on, I've read lots of discussions on flushing. One side of the fence says you have to flush. Simple as that.
Another says that if you are growing organically, why flush?

As I think about the last statement, that makes the most sense at first glance to me. I mean to have a need to do a periodic flush when growing organically is like admitting that there is something in the soil that shouldnt be in there.

There cant be anything bad in my soil! I mean I mixed it myself. Too much bone meal maybe?

Two points, first flushing is actually the wrong term here, a flushing is something you do right before harvest, and we'll leave that for another "discussion".

What we are talking about here is called leaching, and it is so important to me, that when I do a soil grow, I leach, when I'm in the 2nd, 4th & 6th week of flowering.

As you grow, your soil changes, as does your root system too.
We are worried about both ph and nutrient lockout. The plants ability to buffer your ph changes as the plant ages, and you've been adding all those nutes. Nutrients have a limited window of opportunity to all be available to your plant. Meaning the ph range that you have to be in, is very small. 6.3 to 6.8 is proper ph range for soil.

While were talking about adding your nutes, they also have a salt build up around the roots and lockout your expensive new nutes that you bought for them. Starting to feel unappreciated yet?

Well it does happen, and you can easily fix this, and increase your yeilds.

While you may be able to get away without leaching, I've done it both ways myself, I can certainly tell you that I have always noticed a pronounced growth spurt after the leaching.

All you need to do is, determine the size of your grow pot, and triple it.
So if you flower in a one gallon pot, you'll want 3 gallons of room temperature, PH'd water. Pour this through your growpot, let it run out the bottom, and your all done.

Do not use the hot water side to adjust the temp of your water, as these pipes, typically have heavy metals built up indside of them, these metals will kill your ladies. Also if you have a public water supply, let the water sit for a day prior to using.

Don't over complicate this, it is easy to do, and by far, the easiest & cheapest thing you can do to increase your yeilds.

Heres hoping you have a very merry harvest!

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Stealth grow closet

This may need fine tuning to suit your needs, and/or may cost less if you already have a light or wharever.

Moving on, you can take all or parts of this tutorial to suit your needs and desires. Total approximate cost to build this closet is about $400.00 of course the cost will vary according to where and what you do buy. The other side of the coin is simply this, if you really want to embark on indoor growing, I think that $300.00 is a minimum investment into this. Having spent this money, you'll be assured of respectable results.

1 - 400w HPS w/ reflector @ $139.00
The light pictured in the tutorial is not the same light as listed above,
The manufacturer of the pictured light is not around anymore. Hence I substituted hidhut for the other light kit.
2 - 60Hx30Wx16D Pantry Closet Kits @ $85 each.
2 - 90 CFM Bathroom Fan @ $20 (I paid $12.00 at home depot)
1 - Tube of Caulk @ $2
3 - Hardware Items @ $6 all.
1 - In/Out Digital Temp and Humidity Gauge @ $15
1 - 19"x21" Piece of Glass @ $5



This is what you get when you order the "wired" kit. Works great.


First I laid out all the pieces. I was my plan to combine the two closets in to one large closet. I thought about all the various options so I wouldn't make a mistake. After coming up with a good plan, I started.
First I joined the corners together. All joints
were caulked. The goofey screws and allen wrench included made me curse a few times.


Caulked all the seams too.


The back section of the cabinet a made by securely attaching the doors to the rear of the cabinet.


Hey, thats just an unassuming closet.


Here's the inside.


I attached the two shelves together. I installed the sides of the hood box. A access door, and a 3" to 4" flange mounted at rear to accept bathroom fan.


Then I used weather stripping around the edge of the xtra thick glass to form a tight seal, and attached with mirror hanging hardware.


I then attached the 90 CFM bathroom fan to the duct. This will (hopefully) vent the growroom and the light as well.


Light assembly installed.


Bzzzzz. Hmmmm. Whrrrr.


Still need to mount the gauges, mylar (waiting for mylar xmas paper to become available) and intake fan (going under shelf on rear panel).





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The Closet DWC Grow Guide
Submitted by ClosetDWC

Aka “Gorilla in the closet”
In this guide we will go through how to make your own DWC growing system setup for your closet or other small areas

I. Preparing the grow room
II. Gathering supplies
III. Building the systems
IV. Lighting in a small space
V. Finding your strain of marijuana
VI. Providing the essentials – (air, nutes, temp, humidity)
VII. Wisdom

So you want to grow and don’t have the money time or space well I’m going to tell you how you can grow in a small area in this case a small hallway coat closet, using a minimal amount of time money and space.

I. Preparing the grow room
The first thing I look for in a grow area is how stealthy it is.
Things to think about are ventilation, stealth, and heat.
The first thing you want to do is clean the grow area very well with either a diluted bleach water mix (1 cap per gal) or Lysol disinfecting wipes use these to clean walls, door, ceiling and everything else in the closet.
Next concentrate on the floor vacuum, mop whatever you can do to get it clean. This is imperative to help stop bugs and mites and fungus and all the other nasty stuff you do not want in your grow room.

II. Gathering Supplies
Here is the supply list and where to get them.
5 gallon buckets (1 for each plant you want to grow) 2-3 for small closets. Buy the darkest color you can find if white is all you can get then grab some black duct tape or spray paint.

Air pumps – best way to go here is to the local pet shop and get the biggest one you can afford usually under $30 you will need 1 per bucket. Duel outlet diaphragm is recommended.
60 gallon pump from petco
Air line for air pumps about 4’ per pump outlet.
Air line from petco
Air stones and one way check valves
Air stones Check valves
Light socket / reflectors (on this one get from Wal-Mart or petco) clamp lights are good for versatility
Light socket / reflector
Humidity / temperature gauges (these are usually pretty cheap under $20 for a good one)
Humidity temp combo gauge
Fans – if you don’t already have some small fans or a big one then time to go get one I bought two from wall-mart for $4 each and they work great.
Nutrients – for nutes do some research and find one you like I know a lot of ppl that use three part fox farm and love it. HID Hut Discount Gardening Supplies, Hydroponics, Digital Ballast, Carbon Filters, Grow Lights is a site to look for them.
Net pots – these come in a variety of sizes but for this grow 4” and 6” is best avail at most hydro stores these can also be found online from HID Hut Discount Gardening Supplies, Hydroponics, Digital Ballast, Carbon Filters, Grow Lights
Grow media – this is what you will be growing. Most people I come across use Hydroton but small cleaned river rock will do the trick as well. and if you want you can use rock wool cubes or rapid rooters

III. Building the system
Ok this is how we are going to make this grow come to life!
Take your 5 gallon buckets (in this case it will be one just repeat for all of them same process.)And clean them well with soap and water, if you have hydrogen peroxide it will help disinfect.
After they are clean and very well rinsed out and dried then set it aside and grab the lid ,you are going to cut a hole in the center of the lid just big enough to set your 4”/6” net pot into so it hangs from the lid then set it aside,
Next grab the: air pump, air stones, check valve, and air line.
Cut a length of line long enough to reach from where your air pump will be to the bottom of the bucket, now take that same piece and attach it to the pump at one end, about 3-4” from the pump cut the line again and insert the check valve make sure the arrow points towards the bucket end not the pump as this valve only works in one direction, now reattach the air line, and at the bucket end attach your air stone it will look like this
{AirPump}----[check valve]---------------------------[air stone]
Now you need to put a hole in the side of your bucket just big enough for the air line you can use a drill or heat up a screw driver on the stove and push it right through the bucket, you want to make this hole somewhere near the top of the bucket above the water level. Place the air stone at the bottom of the bucket in the center.
Ok now you need to get the lid and net pot, fill the net pot with your grow media and snap the lid on. DONE … not so hard was it?

IV. Lighting in a small space
Lighting is one of the most important things you will need to grow and there are all types of light for growing but for a closet grow that requires stealth we will be using CFL lighting as it has advantages in confined spaces and are very cheap and use little energy. Of course HID lights will produce better but will heat up your small area way to much, so go down to home depot or Wal-Mart or anywhere you can get light bulbs in your community and look for 23w and 150w/100w and get a mixture as this will give you different light spectrums and a better grow set them in the closet on the sides and above the DWC systems this will give you good coverage and produce very little heat and with a fan or two you will have plenty of circulation and low heat levels .

V. Finding your strain of marijuana
Well if you’re a first timer then I recommend Northern lights or a hybrid with northern lights as this strain was developed to be the perfect indoor grower with good bud and good yields. But the choice is yours just remember get something made for indoor growing.

VI. Providing the essentials
Well we are all set up now, we have our bucket fully assembled and our seeds have germinated (check germinating here)
Now put you seed into the grow media close to the bottom / middle with root down you will need to water lightly from the top of the pot for the first few days till the roots grow past the bottom of the net pot. When they do fill the bucket up with nutrient rich ph balanced water about 1” to ˝” below the net pot with air pump running the plant will soon reach its roots into the bubbly water and the grow like crazy. Give them a fan that is blowing on them from day one as this will help in overall strength of the plant. And keep it cool in the room. keep your humidity and temp as stable as possible low to mid 70’s is good with a humidity of no more then 50% and in late flower no more then 35% and you should be good to grow!

VII. Wisdom
Ok before you go getting all farmer john there are a few things I have learned a lot came from the people at
Always keep your secret because if you can’t don’t expect others to. And always look at the FAQ then ask the question because believe me it has already been asked and answered, and please don’t be one of these people I see on TV overloading circuits and causing a house to catch fire!!! We are here to help learn and heal not to burn down the block so always SAFTY FIRST!!!
And above all remember Just try and act NORML!!!

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FAQ about Hydroponics Answered
Submitted by Hobo

Frequently Asked Questions about Hydroponics
in no particular order

What is hydroponics?
In general, hydroponics is a growing method in which the plant's growing medium contains no nutritional value. Everything the plant needs to stay alive including nutrients, micro nutrients , trace elements, carbohydrates, sugars and vitamins are all delivered to the plants through the roots via a nutrient rich solution.

How does hydroponic growing differ from growing in soil?
The key difference that the media contains absolutely no nutritional value for the plant. It is merely to provide ideal textural conditions for roots. Some systems like NFT or aeroponic the roots are just danging in the air, with no medium, and is supported by a plug or basket in the system.

Soil contains a minimal amount of primary secondary and trace elements. Enough for most plant life to sustain itself on all by itself.

In a hydroponics system, all these nutrients and trace elements are provided by water soluble nutrients added to water to make a solution that is used to feed the plants several times daily.

What types of systems are used for hydroponics?
There are several different types of systems which are all very effective in their owns ways, some have some advantages to others while many have their own disadvantages as well.

The Wick System

The Wick system is by far the simplest type of hydroponic system. This is a passive system, which means there are no moving parts. The nutrient solution is drawn into the growing medium from the reservoir with a wick. Free plans for a simple wick system are available.

This system can use a variety of growing medium. Perlite, Vermiculite, Pro-Mix and Coconut Fiber are among the most popular.
The biggest draw back of this system is that plants that are large or use large amounts of water may use up the nutrient solution faster than the wick(s) can supply it.

Water Culture aka DWC aka Bubbleponics

The water culture system is the simplest of all active hydroponic systems. The platform that holds the plants is usually made of Styrofoam and floats directly on the nutrient solution. An air pump supplies air to the air stone that bubbles the nutrient solution and supplies oxygen to the roots of the plants.
Water culture is the system of choice for growing leaf lettuce, which are fast growing water loving plants, making them an ideal choice for this type of hydroponic system. Very few plants other than lettuce will do well in this type of system.

The Ebb & Flow System aka Flood and Drain


The Ebb and Flow system works by temporarily flooding the grow tray with nutrient solution and then draining the solution back into the reservoir. This action is normally done with a submerged pump that is connected to a timer.
When the timer turns the pump on nutrient solution is pumped into the grow tray. When the timer shuts the pump off the nutrient solution flows back into the reservoir. The Timer is set to come on several times a day, depending on the size and type of plants, temperature and humidity and the type of growing medium used.
The Ebb and Flow is a versatile system that can be used with a variety of growing mediums. The entire grow tray can be filled with Grow Rocks, gravel or granular Rockwool. Many people like to use individual pots filled with growing medium, this makes it easier to move plants around or even move them in or out of the system. The main disadvantage of this type of system is that with some types of growing medium (Gravel, Growrocks, Perlite), there is a vulnerability to power outages as well as pump and timer failures. The roots can dry out quickly when the watering cycles are interrupted. This problem can be relieved somewhat by using growing media that retains more water (Rockwool, Vermiculite, or coconut fiber).

Drip Recovery aka Top Feed

Drip systems are probably the most widely used type of hydroponic system in the world. Operation is simple, a timer controls a submersed pump. The timer turns the pump on and nutrient solution is dripped onto the base of each plant by a small drip line. In a Recovery Drip System the excess nutrient solution that runs off is collected back in the reservoir for re-use. The Non-Recovery System does not collect the run off.
A recovery system uses nutrient solution a bit more efficiently, as excess solution is reused, this also allows for the use of a more inexpensive timer because a recovery system doesn't require precise control of the watering cycles. The non-recovery system needs to have a more precise timer so that watering cycles can be adjusted to insure that the plants get enough nutrient solution and the runoff is kept to a minimum.

N.F.T Nutrient Film Technique

This is the kind of hydroponic system most people think of when they think about hydroponics. N.F.T. systems have a constant flow of nutrient solution so no timer required for the submersible pump. The nutrient solution is pumped into the growing tray (usually a tube) and flows over the roots of the plants, and then drains back into the reservoir.
There is usually no growing medium used other than air, which saves the expense of replacing the growing medium after every crop. Normally the plant is supported in a small plastic basket with the roots dangling into the nutrient solution.
N.F.T. systems are very susceptible to power outages and pump failures. The roots dry out very rapidly when the flow of nutrient solution is interrupted.


The aeroponic system is probably the most high-tech type of hydroponic gardening. Like the N.F.T. system above the growing medium is primarily air. The roots hang in the air and are misted with nutrient solution. The mistings are usually done every few minutes. Because the roots are exposed to the air like the N.F.T. system, the roots will dry out rapidly if the misting cycles are interrupted.
A timer controls the nutrient pump much like other types of hydroponic systems, except the aeroponic system needs a short cycle timer that runs the pump for a few seconds every couple of minutes.

How large of a reservoir do i need?
It all depends on the size of your system. If your running an ebb and flow with a basin thats 20 gallons, your reservoir should be atleast 20 gallons. A top feed system wouldnt fill the enitre basin, so you would need less for that, unless you had a large topfeed or NFT system, with several different basins or gullies.

How often should i change the reservoir?
Smaller reservoirs need to be changed more often. A good rule of thumb is every 2 weeks or more, completely empty out and clean your reservoir. The plants will use up different amounts of the nutrients it needs and may end up containing higher levels of certain elements that you may not necessarily want. So to make sure you have the proper balanced nutrient solution... change it every 2 weeks.

What kind of nutrients should i use?
This is a matter of choice, everyone says they use the best nutrients. But what is essential for hydroponic growers. You couldn't just use a household fertilizer like miracle grow, miracle grow is lacking in certain secondary and trace elements that are usually found in soil, but not in a hydroponic medium.

How do i know how much nutrients to use?
Every nutrient system will have dilution ratios on the back, usually a teaspoon per gallon. Most 3 part systems require you to add the first part to the water first, as the first and second part in their concentrated forms conflict chemically and can break down eachother. Always double check your dilution with a TDS or EC meter.

How do i measure the level of nutrients in my reservoir? With a TDS meter measured in PPM. You can also get an idea by the EC.

What does PPM, EC and TDS mean?
PPM stands for parts per million, and is usually referenced to TDS or total dissolved solids. Distilled water contains a very low ppm compared to tap water which contains minerals and chlorine. EC stands for electrical conductivity, and is another way to measure how much nutrients are in your solution.

What does PH have to do with hydroponics?
The ph will determine how acidic or alkaline your reservoir is. The ideal range for hydroponics is around 5.8. At 5.8 it allows for maximum intake of all essential nutrients the plant needs. Too high of a PH and the plant cant take in the most important primary nutrients, too low of a ph and the roots cant absorb the water properly, and will also affect key nutrient uptake.

How do i measure the PH of my Reservoir?
When you are growing hydroponically checking and adjusting pH is a simple matter, it can be a bit more complicated when growing organically or in dirt. There are several ways to check the pH of the nutrient solution in your hydroponic system.
Paper test strips are probably the most inexpensive way to check the pH of the nutrient solution. These paper strips are impregnated with a pH sensitive dye which changes color when dipped into the nutrient solution. The paper strip is then compared to a color chart to determine the pH level of the solution being checked. These test strips are inexpensive, but sometimes they can be hard to read, because the colors differences can be subtle.
Liquid pH test kits are probably the most popular method to check pH for the hobby gardener. These liquid test kits work by adding a few drops of a pH sensitive dye to a small amount of the nutrient solution and then comparing the color of the resulting liquid with a color chart. The liquid kits are a bit more expensive than the paper test strips but they work very well, and are normally easier to "read" than the paper indicator strips.
The Most high-tech way to check pH is to use the digital meters. These meters come in a huge array of sizes and prices. The most popular type of pH meter for the hobby gardener are the digital "pens". These pens are manufactured by several different companies and are very handy and easy to use. You simply dip the electrode into the nutrient solution for a few moments and the pH value is displayed on a LCD display.
The pH meters are very accurate (when properly calibrated) and fast. They need to cared for properly however, or they will quit working. The glass bulb electrode must be kept clean and wet at all times. The pH meters are actually very sensitive volt meters and are susceptible to problems with the electrode.
The pH meters are slightly temperature sensitive. Many of the pH meters on the market have Automatic Temperature Compensation (ATC), which corrects the reading with respect to temperature. On meters without ATC the pH should be checked at the same time of day each time in order to minimize any temperature related fluctuations.
The pH meters usually need to be calibrated frequently, as the meters can "drift" and to insure accuracy you must check calibration often. The tip needs to be stored in a electrode storage solution or in a buffer solution. The tip should never be allowed to dry out.
Due to the fact that pH meters have a reputation of breaking down without warning it is a good idea to keep an emergency back up for checking pH (paper test strips or a liquid pH test kit), just in case.

How do i adjust the levels of the PH in my reservoir?

There are several chemicals used by the hobby gardener to adjust pH. The most popular are probably phosphoric acid (to lower pH), and potassium hydroxide (to raise pH). Both of these chemicals are relatively safe, although they can cause burns and should never come in contact with the eyes. Most hydroponic supply stores sell pH adjusters that are diluted to a level that is reasonably safe and easy to use. Concentrated adjusters can cause large pH changes and can make adjusting the pH very frustrating.
Several other chemicals can be used to adjust the pH of hydroponic nutrient solutions. Nitric acid and sulfuric acid can be used to lower pH but are much more dangerous than phosphoric acid. Food grade citric acid is sometimes used in organic gardening to lower pH.
Always add the nutrients to the water before checking and adjusting the pH of your nutrient solution. The fertilizer will usually lower the pH of the water due to it's chemical make up. After adding nutrient and mixing the solution, check the pH using what ever means you have. If the pH needs to be adjusted add the appropriate adjuster. Use small amounts of pH adjuster until you get familiar with the process. Recheck the pH and repeat the above steps until the pH level is where you want it to be.
The pH of the nutrient solution will have a tendency to go up as the plants use the nutrients. As a result the pH needs to be checked periodically (and adjusted if necessary). To start out I suggest that you check pH on a daily basis. Each system will change pH at a different rate depending on a variety of factors. The type of growing medium used, the weather, kind of plants and even the age of the plants all effect the pH variations.

How Often should the pump be switched on to water? and for how long?
It depends on the kind of system and medium. A medium like rockwool, oasis foam or coconut fibers need to be watered less often in general. While media like LECA, Stone, or just thin air (dangling roots in aeroponic or nft) need to be watered more often or even constantly. A top feed system can be run 24-7 as long as its a slow steady drip. But in general 3-5 times a day in a top feed, ebb and flow. About once an hour for aeroponic setups or NFT setups as they dry out much faster. When the pump is switched on, it only needs to be on for 15 minutes or possibly longer if your flood and drain system takes a while to fill up.

What kind of daily maintenance is involved in
a hydroponics system?
Your going to want to top off your system between changing with a premixed solution, i add a gallon at a time.

You want to test the pumps and timers to make sure they are all working properly.

You also want to check for any possible leaks on a regular basis. Especially when dealing with homemade setups.

Check the PH and TDS constantly with accurate meters, the plants will take in more water or more nutrients sometimes, so you want to make sure your reservoir parameters remain constant.

What different types of mediums can i use?
There are several different types of mediums used by hydroponic growers. Some work better in other systems as stated above. But some of the more popular mediums...

Grodan rockwool cubes
Great at retaining water, and great at oxygenating roots upon drying out.

LECA aka Clay Pellets
Not as good at water retention, but are reusable.

Oasis Foam
Similar qualities to rockwool

Dyna-Rok II - thanks fredfarted
non-toxic and environmentally safe growing medium suitable for all indoor and outdoor plants, including orchids, roses, annuals, perennials, shrubs, vegetables, and trees. This lightweight porous mineral is super absorbent, taking up as much as 150% of its weight in water and nutrients, which are then slow released back to the plant's roots. Unlike traditional bark mixes, dynarok II will not decompose leading to root rot problems.

This material is a sedimentary rock consisting of the fossilized remains of unicellular fresh water plants known as diatoms. It consists of approximately 90% amorphous silicate with the balance made up of other mineral elements needed for plant growth. Though largely inert, overtime, some silicon and other minerals are released slowly to the plants. This results in faster growth, earlier and more prolific flowering, stronger roots, and improved resistance to pests and environmental stress.

Coconut husk fibers
Good water retention, a bit messy

Pond Rocks
Reusable, provide sturdy support, a bit heavy.

The biggest drawback to perlite is that it doesn't retain water well which means that it will dry out quickly between waterings and is non reusable.

Sphagnum Peat Moss
Can retain a lot of water, maybe too much, and is a bit messy.

Can pack too tightly together, but can be used in combination with other media.

Lava Rocks
Lava rock has been used successfully for years, it is light-weight and retains a fair amount of water in it's holes and pores. It is used most often in ebb & flow (fill & drain) systems with frequent watering cycles.

Among others...

Where can i find plans to make my own system?
In the DIY section of

Ebb & Flow


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Bucket Water Farm

Hydroponic Myths:

-Hydroponics is a new technology.
The Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt enjoyed fruits and vegetables grown hydroponically. One of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Hanging Gardens, was probably a hydroponic garden. If hydroponics is a "new" technology, it is a new technology in general use for thousands of years. Hydroponics is not new -- just different.

-Hydroponics is unnatural or artificial.

Plant growth is a real and natural happening. Plants require basic, natural things for normal growth. Simply, hydroponics supplies the plant with what it needs,when it needs it. There is no genetic mutation that takes place inside the equipment nor are there any mysterious wonder chemicals introduced to the plants roots that tricks them into thinking they're on steroids.

-Hydroponics is bad for the environment.
This is totally false. growing plants hydroponically is far more "earth friendly" than conventional gardening could ever be. Hydroponic's usage of water is 70 to90 percent LESS then that used in conventional dirt gardening, and no fertilizer is lost to rain run off. These two items alone, water conservation and the non-pollution of lakes and streams, are major plus values.

-The use of hydroponics is not widespread.
Wrong again. Hydroponics is used extensively the world around and for various reasons. It is used in countries where the climate prohibits or limits growth, where the soil is to poor to support large-scale crop production and in countries where once fertile soil has been abused and is now depleted. In British Columbia, 90 % of all the greenhouse industry is now hydroponic. This, unfortunately, leads to yet another, more popular myth.

-Hydroponics must be used indoors.
Hydroponics is as easy to use outdoors under the sun as it is indoors. The advantage to gardening indoors under grow lights is that you, not Mother Nature, control the seasons. Making the growing season twelve months long. However replacing the sun is a relatively expensive proposition.

-Hydroponics must be used indoors.
Hydroponics is as easy to use outdoors under the sun as it is indoors. The advantage to gardening indoors under grow lights is that you, not Mother Nature, control the seasons. Making the growing season twelve months long. However replacing the sun is a relatively expensive proposition.

-Hydroponics requires no pesticides.
This is one myth that we wish were true. It is partially true, because a strong healthy plant is much less susceptible to attack than a weaker plant. This reduces the need for toxic pesticides to control pests. We use and strongly recommend the use of good organic pest controls (such as the Safer's brand of safe, biodegradable, environmentally safe products).

-Hydroponics produces super huge plants.
This is another myth we wish were true. Hydroponics produces superior plant growth, hence, superior yields. Every seed, seedling and plants has a genetic ability to grow at a certain rate,to yield a certain amount of crop and for that crop to taste a certain way. All of these characteristics are controlled by the plants genetic make-up and there isn't anything anyone can do that will make the plant exceed its natural, genetic limits.
Getting a plant to grow to its full potential in common soil is difficult because of the hundreds of variables in the soil's make-up that influence the plant and its growth. It is the ability to control these variables that makes hydroponics superior to conventional gardening. You have full control over what the plant has available to it rather than guessing what the soil can provide. Because of this the plants can do their best.
Dr. Howard M. Resh, in his book HYDROPONIC FOOD PRODUCTION, cites vegetable yield increases that are dramatic; identical cucumber plants produced 7,000 pounds per acre in soil but 28,000 pounds per acre when grown hydroponically and tomato yields that ranged from 5 to 10 tons per acre in soil but 60 to 300 tons per hydroponic acre. The reported results are typical for practically any plant. Said another way, to produce the total number of tomatoes consumed annually in Canada (400 million pounds) requires 25,000 acres of soil. Hydroponically, it would require only 1,300 acres.

Works Cited
-Off the top of Hobos head
-Pictures and some captions from

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Build your own Ebb & Flow System
Submitted by Hobo

How it works:

You have a reservoir with a nutrient solution filling it about halfway or more. Inside you have an air stone with a hose leading out to a pump that pumps air through it, this helps keep the reservoir oxygenated. Also inside is a submersible pump that is linked to a timer to go on 4 times a day for 15 minutes at a time. This pump will pump the water out through a hose connected the bottom of the basin, and acts at the entrance for water while the pump is on, and also the exit line when the pump is shut off. While the pump is on, the water level will continue to rise inside the basin until it reaches the overflow hose level. At this point the water will drain out, and the water level wont go above this point. (unless your water intake exceeds how much can drain). When the timer shuts off and the pump is turned off, all the excess water will drain through the same opening the water came in, back into the reservoir.


1 20 Gallon or larger Rubbermaid Tote

You can find at any home center

4 1" male to half inch garden hose coupling

Can be found and any hardware or home center

3 1" female garden hose coupling

Can be found and any hardware or home center

10 Feet of 1/2" inner diameter black vinyl tubing

50' roll 1/2" poly mainline @ FUTUREGARDEN.COM

1 - Under a bed storage container (or any wide open plastic container)
17 Gal Underbed Box Hawaiian Blue - 5334 at The Home Depot

1 Tube of Aquarium Silicon

1 Roll of Teflon tape

1 low profile framed work table (to raise up basin)
Can find at any home center, or build your own out of 2x4s

1 Air pump and airstone kit.
12" AquaFizz Air Stone @ FUTUREGARDEN.COM
Elite 801 single outlet a pump @ FUTUREGARDEN.COM

1 ~100 gph water pump with a half inch adapter

1 Pack of mini zip ties to use as clamps.

1 24 hour timer
24hr. x 15 min. Interval Timer @ FUTUREGARDEN.COM

Other Tools:


Channel lock Pliers

A power drill

a 1" drill bit

latex gloves (to protect your hands... use vinyl if your allergic)

You will also need some sort of medium to put the plants i use pond rocks, but you could use the more popular LECA stone aka expanded clay pellets.

Instructions: more pictures coming soon

1. Set your table up with precut holes for each of the tubes for your basin(s) to fit through, your tubes will connect right to the basin from the bottom.

2. Drill 2 1" holes in the bottom of the large plastic basin for your entrance and exit lines.

3. Apply a small layer of teflon tape and then silicon around the edges of a
1" male to half inch garden hose adapter and screw in till its hand tight with the adapter end facing out. Then take you pliers and use the tiniest bit of force to screw it lock tight. Repeat this on however many basins you are using and let dry.

4. On one of the 2 protruding male threading attach a 1" female adapter onto that with some teflon and silicon and screw it hand tight. Then put a piece of 1/2" inner diameter hose on to that so that the hose is 1 inch from the top of the basin. (this will be the point where water is drained back out)

5. Drill 2 holes on the side of your 20 gallon rubbermaid tote about 2 inches from the bottom.

6. Apply a small layer of teflon tape and then silicon to a 1 " male to half inch garden hose coupling and screw it in hand tight with the half inch end facing outward. Repeat on the other hole.

7. Apply a small layer of teflon tape and then silicon to a 1 " female coupling garden hose adapter and screw it onto the protruding male end coming through on the inside of the rubbermaid tote. Repeat on the other hole and let it all dry.

8. Attach a small piece of 1/2" inner diameter hose from the female coupling to the pump thats inside the reservoir.

9. Carefully place the basin down on the table with the drain plugs going through the hole you made in your table. Attach a piece of 1/2" inner diameter hose from the male coupling protruding out of the outside of the reservoir (the one that then leads to the pump) and connect it to the line in the basin that doesnt have the extra overflow tube. This is your entrance/exit line. Use a ziptie to clamp the connections. Place a small piece of screen over the drain hole. Repeat if you are using more than a 1 basin system.

10. Attach a piece of 1/2 " inner diameter hose from the other protruding male coupling out of the reservoir, to the overflow coupling on the basin, secure connections with a ziptie. and attach a piece of screen over the overflow line so pebbles dont fall in and then fill with stones or pellets

11. Place airstone in rubbermade tote and fill with water and nutrients.

12. Set the timer and watch it grow!!!

You may want to run a test run and check for leaks. If you spot a leak, empty out the system let it dry, and reapply silicon to the area and let dry. That should fix a small spot missed in the first application of the silicon

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What size vent fan do I need

Here’s how you can calculate the amount of ventilation you need. If for instance you wanted to keep you grow room temperature from getting any more than 5° warmer than the intake air temperature, and you were using 400 watts of power, you’d make the calculation below in blue. The chart is based on the following formula. It is a well-established heat transfer formula.

(3.2 × 400) ÷ 5 = 256

---------------------------Calculating the passive intake.-------------------------

The Home Ventilating Institute recommends one square foot of open air inlet per 300 CFM of ventilation fan capacity.

If you were going to use 256 CFM, you’d want 256/300 square feet of intake area, which is 122.88 square inches.

Here are some options for the intake area for a 256 CFM ventilation fan:

1 hole - 12.5 inches in diameter.
2 holes – 8.84 inches in diameter.
3 holes – 7.22 inches in diameter.
4 holes – 6.25 inches in diameter.
5 holes – 5.59 inches in diameter.
6 holes – 5.11 inches in diameter.

Here is how to calculate the hole sizes:

1. Take the total area in square inches needed, in this case 122.88 square inches, and divide by the number of holes you want.
2. Then divide by Pi (3.14).
3. Take the square root of that value.
4. Then multiply by 2.

The answer is the diameter that each hole would need to be to make up the total area needed for intake.

A large number of small holes will create more backpressure than one large hole of equivalent area. This would be negligible unless you’re using a huge number of holes or you’re using ducting to supply the air to each intake hole. If you’re just cutting them in a wall you should be fine using 8 or less holes without having to take into account the extra backpressure.

Let me spell it out for you all, if you have a 400 watt light, multiply that times 3.2 which equals 1280 than divide by the cfm of your fan, lets assume a 500 cfm fan for this scenario, so we have 1280 divided by 500 equals 2.56

This means that using a 400 watt light and a 500 cfm fan your temp will rise 2.56 degrees above ambient temperature.

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Does the PH really matter?

Nutrient availability is pH dependent so it definitely matters. Cannabis can tolerate a wide pH range, but does best between 6.2 & 6.8 in soil/less media and 5.8 - 6.0 in hydroponic media. There are two pH's that matter; that of the water going into the system and that of the root zone. Measuring the pH of the root zone can be difficult in soil/less media since the probes often require that a media-water slurry be made. The pH of the runoff water is often measured as an estimate of the actual acidity/alkalinity of the medium. In my experience, this estimate is good enough.

How do I measure pH?
The best way is a wateproof digital pen. These are typically accurate to 0.1 or better and cost anywhere from $20 to several hundred dollars. Hydroponic growers need this accuracy as the pH range is much more narrow than that of soil/less media.

Dipsticks can be had that change color for comparison against a chart. They typically have an accuracy of about 0.5. pH paper, also sold as nitrazine paper measures by color change as well and is also accurate to about 0.5. They are sold for around $10.

Kits that use a sample of water into which a couple drops of "developer" are added are the least desirable devices. They depend upon comparing the color of the water sample to a chart and are often only accurate to 1.0. If the water sample is not colorless before adding the developer, the kit's accuracy will be skewed from the beginning. These are available for about $5.

Do I measure pH before or after adding nutrients, etc to the water?
Add everything to the water and mix it well, then measure the pH. Nutrients, growth stimulants, etc will alter the pH, so it's best to adjust it right before the water is applied to the plants.

I've added all the stuff to my water and the pH is x.x, what now?
If growing in a soil/less medium the pH should be approximately 6.5 and in hydroponic media the pH should be about 6.0 before application.

To lower the pH an acid must be added to the water and to raise the pH a base must be added. There are products available on the shelf called "pH up" & "pH down". They work well. There are also household products that will accomplish the same goal.

Household "pH downs"
Vinegar (white distilled, apple cider, wine...)
Lemon juice
Household "pH ups"
Tap water (my preference) Municipal water is often pH'd above 7.0 to improve palatability (taste).
Baking Soda (NOT baking powder)

Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Its use can cause problems so I advise against it. It works well in a pinch AND when used infrequently. Increased sodium concentration in the medium displaces K and may cause a condition appearing as K deficiency. There is a maxim in chemistry which states "water follows sodium"; if the sodium concentration in the medium is high, water can actually be wicked AWAY from the roots causing wilt.

How much pH up or pH down do I add to change the pH of my water by 1.0?
That all depends upon the quality of the initial water sample. Quality is determined by ppm/tds/ec measurement. Water samples with lower ppm/tds/ec measurements will require LESS acid or base to change the pH of the sample as compared to those with higher tds/ppm/ec numbers. "Hard water" will have high tds/ppm/ec.

Regardless of what a product's label states, some trial and error has to occur. The manufacturer can't know the purity of any given water sample.

Add a little of the product, mix well, and measure the pH. Once you get the pH in the proper range note the amount of product you added. Next time add that amount to your water and measure to see if the pH comes out in the same range. Once you've reproduced the pH several times you can safely put the pH meter away until the plants shows signs of distress. That said, any time the source of water changes OR the additives change (different brand, new additive, etc) the same procedure will need to be performed.

I wouldn’t recommend using a probe that you place in the soil. The pH pens are much more accurate.

Here are the methods of testing your soil pH. I’ve put both methods here, but the one I use and the one you’ll most likely want to use is the runoff method because it’s much faster and easier to do. After you get a handle on what’s happening with your pH you can dial in your soil and nutrient regiment so you won’t need to test the pH very often.

Both methods below will work. I put the “collecting soil sample” tutorial because it’s considered to be the only real scientific way of testing the soil pH. I’ve found the runoff method to be very reliable if done correctly, and again, it’s the one I use.

Collecting soil and mixing with distilled water method:

Soil Sample Preparation

1. Calibrate the pH pen.

2. Scoop up loose soil samples with a clean, dry plastic
spoon. Avoid touching the soil with your hands to prevent contaminating the sample. Take soil sample as deep as possible without affecting roots.

3. Remove any stones and crush any clumps of soil.

4. Fill up your sample soil up to 3/4 and add distilled water to the jar. Cap the jar tight and shake it vigorously a few times. Let the mixed sample stand for 5-10 minutes to dissolve the salts in the soil.

5. Dip the pH pen electrode into the wet soil slurry. Take the reading when it stabilizes.

6. Rinse your pH pen thoroughly in clean water between each use.

Soil pH Data
The pH test value in this procedure is accurate to ±0.5 pH or better (usually ±0.2 pH). The soil sample preparation and test procedure is adapted from accepted laboratory methods. Most soil pH measurement cannot achieve ±0.1 pH accuracy, even with elaborate laboratory procedures and expensive pH instruments.

Recommendations for Best Results
Prepare and run at least three tests of the same soil sample to confirm results. Minor (< ±0.2 pH) or no differences between readings indicate good technique and high confidence in results. Larger differences (> ±0.5 pH) require more testing.

Testing runoff after watering method:

1. Use distilled or reverse-osmosis water. This is inert water that will readily take on the active soil pH.

2. Do not adjust the pH of the water being used for the test, as that will buffer the results in the direction of the pH adjustment.

3. Scuff the surface of the soil to allow for uniform wetting and drainage of the soil.

4. Poor water in slowly until the soil is saturated with water. You may get a small amount of runoff, but its best to just saturate the soil.

5. Wait 30 minutes. Chill out and smoke one.

6. Add the amount of water that will give you a small concentrated amount of runoff.

7. Test the runoff.

I like to see that the runoff, for my soil anyway, is rust colored. That lets me know that there are a lot of constituents of the soil present in the sample as opposed to a more clear runoff that would be indicative of the water running down the side of the pot or not filtering nicely through the medium. In other words, get that water dirty.


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Home made Co2

Items Required:

* 10lb. white sugar
* 5 gallon clean bucket W/lid
* 4 1/2 gallons of water
* A piece of toast browned and hard
* A table spoon of dry active yeast (for baking bread)

First boil the water, (this will ensure clean water) remove from the heat and add the sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Let cool until water is room temperature (if you don't let it cool down it won't work).

After the sugar water has cooled, float the piece of toast on top of the water. Now, empty the tablespoon of yeast over the toast. After a few days, the yeast will take over the toast and start making bubbles (CO2) in the bucket. After a week, the amount of bubbling (CO2) will increase.

Keep the lid airtight on the bucket. CO2 travels up the dispersion tubing, and due to it being heavier than air, falls directly onto your plants. Timing your exhaust, is essential in maintaining an effective level of CO2.


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