NEW GROWER - In need of some guidance... Outdoor grow

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Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
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Hello all.
So I am literally starting my first grow ever in about 1 weeks time, it is a little unpredictable with weather here in Illinois as it just snowed last week and the week before it was 70s and sunny. I am going to be attempting an outside grow because of lack of inside grow equipment. I think the natural sun path will work just fine for what I am hoping for aka I do not want monster plants hence the auto route and I'm planning to LST to bush them out instead of growing massive vertically. I have heard that topping and other training methods can really hurt autos because of their short life cycle.

So to start I have been doing some research and pot size is something a lot of people argue about so I'm going to do a mini experiment with pot sizes. I am running 3 pots which sizes are 2 gallon, 2.5 gallon, and 3 gallon to see if different pot sizes will increase or stunt growth. I will also be using the same white widow auto seeds for each container. Growing conditions are ideal where I am at, they will get direct sun from 8 am til about 6 pm give or take as days are getting longer here. Is this too much sun? I read somewhere that outside plants need at least 5 hours but never found if 10+ hours direct sun would burn these bad boys. Temps should stay in the mid 70s during day time and around 55 or 60

I purchased fox farm ocean forest potting soil, 1/4 part perlite, 3/4 part ff ocean forest, and I learned this is a hot soil so I was planning on not using nutes til week 3 at least, which then I am going to switch to the fox farm trio at 1/4 strength until I see signs of nute deficiency which I will then go to 1/2 strength if needed. One question I have is whether or not to add cal mag to my feeding schedule in the beginning or should I hold off until I hit the 3 week mark and start then with the other nutes? Also I will be using RO water so I am thinking I will need the cal mag sooner because the RO water has none in it like the tap water here, which is shit may I add.

Another thing I can hardly find an answer to is starting a seed out in a big container, how to water and germinate the seed correctly with the best results. I do not know how to water a 2 gallon+ pot without creating issues in lower soil while seedling is still tiny.

I'm putting this post out there before I start so that hopefully I get suggestions before I wreck these plants and they don't even have a chance. If weather does not clear up and stay constant for awhile I will most likely push start out to 2 more weeks. If I am missing a crucial part of starting autos let me know so that I can have a kick ass first grow. Any advice is much appreciated and if you have any questions for me that I did not cover about my plan let me know!

I will add photos as the grow goes along but for right now I am just building up information so that I can start off on good terms with my babies.
 
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the green bandit

Outdoor gardening enthusiast
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Jun 27, 2018
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Hey man, I would use 5gal pots as a minimum unless you're prepared to water your ladies a LOT when they are in heavy flower. Also from what I've seen around here fox farm soils quality control doesn't seem to be the best often having a screwy ph from the get go :shrug:. I'm from Australia so am pretty useless with what soils are good and available to you....I put a couple of links to some guides you might find useful... http://autoflower.net/forums/threads/maximizing-outdoor-autos-guide-to-growing-under-the-sun.56402/ http://autoflower.net/forums/threads/instatransplant-cups-pots-pictorial-and-root-restriction-stunting.64509/ your daylight hours should be fine as in summer my girls are in full sun 14 hours a day and seem to go ok:thumbsup: I don't usually start adding cal/mg until around the 3 week mark. If you get stuck with anything feel free to tag me @the green bandit and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction or find someone who can help you out....good luck and happy growing :pass:
 

Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
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White widow and Zkittlez
Hey man, I would use 5gal pots as a minimum unless you're prepared to water your ladies a LOT when they are in heavy flower. Also from what I've seen around here fox farm soils quality control doesn't seem to be the best often having a screwy ph from the get go :shrug:. I'm from Australia so am pretty useless with what soils are good and available to you....I put a couple of links to some guides you might find useful... http://autoflower.net/forums/threads/maximizing-outdoor-autos-guide-to-growing-under-the-sun.56402/ http://autoflower.net/forums/threads/instatransplant-cups-pots-pictorial-and-root-restriction-stunting.64509/ your daylight hours should be fine as in summer my girls are in full sun 14 hours a day and seem to go ok:thumbsup: I don't usually start adding cal/mg until around the 3 week mark. If you get stuck with anything feel free to tag me @the green bandit and I'll do my best to point you in the right direction or find someone who can help you out....good luck and happy growing :pass:
I have seen plenty of times that people talk about using bigger pots. I will have no issues with watering the babies as much as they need, as long as they will grow and not get root bound. Does this change much between outdoor and indoor growing because I don't see why it would make a difference? Like as in root development outdoors compared to indoors. A lot of people on this site swear by the 3 gallon and a lot swear by the 2 gallon saying that will suffice. SOOOO I am going to find out for myself.

If its only a matter of extra watering then I will be ok as I work from home and can tend to them nearly all day if need be. I don't want massive plants, which is why 3 gallon is the biggest that I will be using. I do NOT want 5 foot + plants in my backyard as my fence is only 6 foot tall also partially the reason I limited pot size. I am not going for massive yield first grow I just want to make it to yield time if that makes sense, hopefully with some nice nugs to show for it. I have 16 auto seeds sitting waiting and when these guys are about into flowering I'm going to start another batch that I can hopefully go all out on and get better buds/yields.

I appreciate your reply about cal mag i have been seeing a lot of different posts about when is the best time to start. What does a cal mag deficiency look like or is it just a droopiness because it is not able to soak up the nutes? Like I said literally first grow ever so I would rather ask you pros what has worked for you. No one knows how to do something the right way besides the people that do it on the regular so thank you for offering your assistance and i will keep you in mind if I run into any issues
 
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Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
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White widow and Zkittlez
Also let me add that i might be willing to invest in a 600 w or 1000 w LED grow light, I found some decently priced ones on amazon for under $100 dollars. This should suffice for supplementing outdoor lighting when they are not getting direct sunlight. If I go the LED light should I keep them in veg under the grow light or should I take advantage of the hours of direct sunlight they will receive. My first plan was to use literal sunlight so I cant see this being a bad thing. I have seen lots of posts saying to keep indoors 100% for first few weeks of seedling stage. Right now I have a regular seed in a party cup, practice germinating, that has gotten nothing but sunlight and has sprouted and is growing strong so I don't know what everyone is talking about with only using indoors for the beginning. If I do go this route it will solely be for supplementing non direct sunlight hours. Now I'm rambling so I'm signing off for now. hopefully i will not bug anyone with my million questions, i figured this would be the best place to go. Happy growing everyone :thanks:
 

Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
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White widow and Zkittlez
@the green bandit
I did decide to go with a grow light for in my garage. I chose a 1000w, true output 200w, led grow light. Amazon product Do you think this should do it for supplementing cloudy and rainy days for the babies I was also thinking I give them full sun and when it gets to indirect I take them inside and light em up for 8 hours. My thinking is that this will double the amount of growth that I can get. Even if light is raised up to cover the three I'm planning on growing they will be getting the big boy up in the sky and then some extra help along in the afternoon. Let me know if you or anyone has used this method before and if so what has been a decent method for doing this half sun half light method. I am thinking that for seedling stage I might follow recommendations and just grow for first two weeks indoors and then go outdoors from there because I do understand autos have a very short life so a good beginning will be a big deal. I'm rambling again. I don't want to wait but patience is key or so they say... Lol laters everyone
 

the green bandit

Outdoor gardening enthusiast
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Jun 27, 2018
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I think your on the right track buddy. I start all my plants in 1gal pots indoors under CFL, I usually start putting them outdoors in the sunlight of an early morning for a couple of hours after a week/10 days to start getting them used to it, and then back insid, increasing sun exposure gradually over a week or two.I only have a small space to start them indoors so once they are 12 inches tall( around 3 weeks) they go outside in 10gal pots permanently.
 

the green bandit

Outdoor gardening enthusiast
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Jun 27, 2018
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Trying to keep up with plants nutrient needs in smaller pots outdoors is tough man!! If you're set on using smaller pots use a 3 gallon minimum bud, you won't regret it!Keeping your roots cool will be hard in smaller pots which is very important, dryouts are hard to avoid in smaller pots as well which really muck with your soils ph!
I have seen plenty of times that people talk about using bigger pots. I will have no issues with watering the babies as much as they need, as long as they will grow and not get root bound. Does this change much between outdoor and indoor growing because I don't see why it would make a difference? Like as in root development outdoors compared to indoors. A lot of people on this site swear by the 3 gallon and a lot swear by the 2 gallon saying that will suffice. SOOOO I am going to find out for myself.

If its only a matter of extra watering then I will be ok as I work from home and can tend to them nearly all day if need be. I don't want massive plants, which is why 3 gallon is the biggest that I will be using. I do NOT want 5 foot + plants in my backyard as my fence is only 6 foot tall also partially the reason I limited pot size. I am not going for massive yield first grow I just want to make it to yield time if that makes sense, hopefully with some nice nugs to show for it. I have 16 auto seeds sitting waiting and when these guys are about into flowering I'm going to start another batch that I can hopefully go all out on and get better buds/yields.

I appreciate your reply about cal mag i have been seeing a lot of different posts about when is the best time to start. What does a cal mag deficiency look like or is it just a droopiness because it is not able to soak up the nutes? Like I said literally first grow ever so I would rather ask you pros what has worked for you. No one knows how to do something the right way besides the people that do it on the regular so thank you for offering your assistance and i will keep you in mind if I run into any issues
 
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Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
1,006
2,512
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Currently Smoking
White widow and Zkittlez
View media item 18368
My first set of regular seeds germinated and sprouted. I know they are still babies, little over 1 week for the bigger one, and only 4 days on the smaller one. They have gotten nothing but natural sun so far. My light bar should be in by tomorrow and then they should grow up a bit more. I may need help sexing these things as they are not feminized. I do not want a male and I will probably need an expert eye to let me know what is going on. Thanks for tuning in

Edit... the other cups are tomato seedlings just fyi
 

Illini4life

Smoking some zkittlez and tasting the rainbow
Apr 16, 2019
1,006
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Currently Smoking
White widow and Zkittlez
This is my little set up that I just got for supplementing the natural sun and for seedling development when I plant my autos here shortly. This is a 1000 watt, 200 true watt, setup literally for under 100 dollars including the shelf I used to hang it. That's a steal if you ask me!
 

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Tomatogrower

Auto Warrior
Mar 5, 2019
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I would recomend not waiting 2 weeks to get your seedlings out in the direct sun . We go outside on day 2 here with temps often in the 80s. Bring em back in at night under the lights give em about 2 hours of darkness. We also mix our own soil that contains no nutes so we begin feeding on the 1st watering. My 1st grow i was scared to death of burning them in the sun or too much nutrients so i babied a few and was real agressive with a couple . the ones we babied were way behind and never really caught up . Also have gotten better results with the 7 and 10 gallon root pouches as our june and july temperatures hit the low to mid 90s regularly and the plants stay in the blazing sun all day