Canna Jedi in training.
- Aug 8, 2014
Hello again friends! It’s your buddy Anthro again with some more fun new ideas! It had occurred to me that the hempy method in its most basic form had some shortcomings. So I set out to scour the web for tips and tricks, and to see if I could mash-up a few newer ideas. Now, I’m no hempy master, this will be a test of me too! This round will only be my second hempy bucket attempt, but I like pushing boundaries and science experiments, so here we are. It will be using chem nutes Osmocote Plus and Dynamite Flower plus some Azomite granules to help with micro nutrients.
Last round I tested a few of these ideas with some pretty good results. Here was the 79.5 gram dried Dinafem Blue Amnesia XXL, and I battled CalMag and micro nute deficiencies all the way through. We’ll be overcoming that this time.
Here were her roots, the bottom roots aren’t rotted nor slimy, and I think it was the Real Growers Recharge and Root Excelurator which I heard can stain a little. This also highlights my mistake in not lightproofing the bucket sides by having a little algae. Don’t think it mattered too much overall, but every root helps so we’re correcting this oversight from here out.
So here we go! Let’s get started. Okay, buckets… I strongly believe that only “Food Grade” containers should be used, as I feel it could be theoretically likely for the cheapo buckets to be leeching BPA and who knows what else into your roots thus plant. These “Food Grade” buckets should be clearly marked, cost a bit more, but should be easy to find.
I’m using 2-gallon buckets found at the local home improvement store, that’s about 7.5 liters. They also had 5-gallon buckets. First thing I do is rip off the metal bucket handle, it just gets in the way and has no use.
Get ready to drill! Seems like each hempy guide has a different water hole size. I feel it’s important to have a larger hole and use a screen (to keep in the perlite) so that there can be some air exchange down there.
Now the 5-gallon hempy tutorials out there say drill 2 inches (5cm) up from the bottom of the bucket. For the 2-gallon buckets, I think 1.5 inches (about 4 cm) from the bottom is more proportionate.
So, 1.5 inches up, put a big hole in each bucket. While you have the drill out, drill small holes along the top lip, spaced apart about 2 inches (~5cm) all around the top circumference. This is for the LST tying down points. It is not fun to drill these holes when the plant is mid veg and needs training!
Now it’s time to lightproof the sides. I thought for months about this; about how to keep temps down, how to keep light out, provide some slight insulation, and still reflect some of the light/radiation. People use the black Gorilla tape a lot for this but I feel this isn’t the most appropriate. It’ll just get hot and absorb the light radiation transferring it into heat.
Then I thought just white duct tape! Nope, it still lets a ton of light through. I almost just said screw it and taped some aluminum foil around it, then I remembered HVAC tape! This is the tape workers use to tape and seal up buildings’ air conditioning and heating vents. It should reflect radiation, lets zero light through, sticks strong with no goopy edges like duct tape, and should in theory help keep the rootzone cooler! Ultra win!
(Nevermind the lower LST holes in that pic, this was my reused bucket from last round and now I made the choice to have the holes as high as possible, so taped over the earlier holes.)
This part is going to be a lot of work, sorry but there’s no cheats or hacks on this. Good news is you should only have to do this once for the life of the bucket. Starting at the bottom, I wrap around one time, cut with a couple cm of overlap, and then tape the next layer up.
Major issue: buckets are tapered slightly and this tape has NO flex or give to it. Thus there will be ugly crinkles and you’ll be fighting with it the entire way up lol! I found that keeping a good bit of tension on the tape roll helps, and many times you’ll have to peel up the last couple inches and lay it down again. I taped all the way up to a few millimeters below the LST tiedown holes.
You’ll now need to punch out the tape over the drain hole. This was super easy with the metal tape, I just punched it with a pen cap. If you’re using duct tape or Gorilla tape, it’ll need a razor blade or an Xacto knife.
Now for the wicks and screens! The fun stuff! First you’ll have to make a decision on tape, and here’s another point I thought a great deal over. You’d want the tape which seems the least toxic and most minimalist. Electrical tape is out, that’s super toxic. Clear packaging tape might be okay.
I went with fine automotive painters tape, it has a paper backing atop very minimal adhesive. Also, at the end of last grow, I noted the adhesive was all intact and easy to clean off. Ideally if you find some tape advertised as non-toxic, get and use that, but I couldn’t find any so I thought a lot and landed on that fine-quality green automotive painters tape.
Screening: this could be almost anything really. You could use actual window screening, but I found something more minimalist and more inert. (Window screening is often fiberglass cored, and that was just a no-goer in my book.) So I found a perfect roll of this inert looking plastic screening which I think is used as a masonry backing and for concreting. Cut a couple inch (or few cm) square and tape it over the hole. That’s done!