Hello fellow growers, I started growing about 3 years ago because i could not have access to quality weed to self-medicate. I’m having relative success at it (thanks to sharing people like you guys). My main problem is I can’t get really big, dense buds when I grow in my 3’ x 8’ x 7’ (w, l, h) tent. I end up with lots of small fluffy buds, but really packed with trichomes . What would you say makes the biggest difference : Lights, nutrients or something I don’t yet know about?
And to add to the challenge, I am on a really tight budget. As in around 50.00$ a month to invest in my set-up (it’s not that i’m cheap but I got to feed the family too…)
Where should I invest first to get the most return on my set-up?
Any help would be appreciated!
What kind of lights are you running? What nutrients are you using? what medium are you growing in? Also anything else you can think of for the other growers to help out. Let me tag some for you
@macgyver_stoner @tdubwilly @Bogleg @dbrn32
@kapouic usually lighting should be the largest investment, and if you don’t have enough lighting, this may be the single largest contributing factor. What are you currently using for lighting?
Other information is needed, as there are multiple factors involved, as missiles pointed out
I’m with @Missiles - I think given your budget we should look at what you currently own. It may be that you could get better quality and quantity yields in a smaller space.
I assume $50/mo to invest is in addition to your operating costs to run the tent? So your costs are covered?
I bought 3 of these : https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B06XCGT92X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For nutrients I bought some of the Advanced Nutrients stuff : B-52, CalMag, Big Bud, Bud Candy, Flawless Finish, Overdrive.
My next purchase for nutrients should have been the first, I realized a bit late, will be AN Bloom, Micro & Grow.
I grow in soil now. But the next batch will be soil and coco.
I have a fan blowing on the canopy, and home made CO2.
Yes, it’s really a small grow, just for personal use (and I also give a lot to those who can’t get any aroung me).
I have a similar light as you do, however it’s only used for seedlings.
I highly recommend to upgrade your lighting first. Those LED’s just don’t put enough photons out to produce the energy needed for larger flowers. @kapouic
This is probably your biggest issue. You are running 24 square feet but only, it seems, 135W of sub-standard LED lighting.
FWIW, most of us who started out on the LED path have also done this.
With those low-end LED fixtures you should target 35-50W per square foot. For your 24 square feet, using those lights, you’d really need AT LEAST 12 of them for your tent. From the details on the light:
“Core Coverage at 24” Height 1x1ft"
So… here is my first question:
Would you rather try to increase the lighting to fill your 3x8 space, or would you prefer to decrease the size of your space to match the lights you own?
You’d probably be better served running those three lights in a 2x4 or 3x3 tent, but would still be a little under powered.
How would you like to move forward?
The lighting would definitely be it. Your running a good nutrient line for them.
I agree, not what you would want lighting a space like that.
I would prefer to get better lightning and fully use my tent is it’s affordable
And also, sorry if my answers seems incomplete or weird, it’s my first time asking help and I’m only a passionate noob!
As for the 50$/month, it’s about the budget I can afford to buy new toys for my babies.
I am not scared of a bit of work and I’m willing to build the lights eventually.
@kapouic - some pictorial evidence of the effects of lighting.
This was my first ever grow - I had a “1500W” LED in it that drew 260W of real electricity from the wall:
That’s in a 4x4 tent - clearly I had no idea how to train/manage the plants, either, so what little light I was giving them wasn’t even being maximized properly.
This is the same tent with all of the same growing parameters (except size of reservoir), but with two plants instead of six, and two of the “1500W” lights instead of one. This was my second grow:
$50 a month isn’t going to get you far quickly if you want to run 24 square feet of canopy. Even going with hid lighting, a couple of 600’s would be alright. They’re couple hundred bucks each, and you would likely need to do some environmental controls with them.
If it were me… this is what I would do (YMMV):
I would get some panda film or something and wall off a portion of my 3x8 tent - I’d figure out some way to get it down to 3x3 or so.
I would move my three lights into that more constrained space and run a grow, see how it does. Then save your $50/mo for a year, and spend $600 on more lights to open up more of the tent.
Could do it in 3 or 6 month increments with smaller fixtures if you like… an HLG-100 is like $150ish, so you could add an HLG-100 every three months.
Other option is to look for cheaper, knock-off QBs from Alibaba.
I am really patient, lol. Can’t really be in a hurry when you’re on a budget…
Mind you, I’m not in a hurry because what I can grow now serves my needs for pain control. But I know that eventually I could do a lot better for my girls and get some respectable buds! It’s a matter of getting better and having fun learning a new hobby!
That light consumes 110W from the wall, and they don’t provide any real data on actual photon output.
If you are considering cheaper blurple lights, then the Viparspectra variety have decent peer reviews and a few people in these forums grow great weed with them.
This light on the GH site looks interesting:
@dbrn32 what do you think of that one? $299 for 530W of blurple seems reasonable, and it’s shaped in a manner to fit a rectangular tent…
The initial cost for light output isn’t too bad. You already know that ultimately I would rather see $300 go elsewhere though.
Based on a savings rate of $50 per month, there will likely be 2 upgrades in led tech over the course of saving $300. I would start banking the cash now and revisit this around black Friday/cyber Monday. Just in terms of getting absolute most for the money.
The reality here is that a good $300 investment into lighting now would likely pay for itself by then, maybe even twice in setup like yours. But not having the money to spend vs justifying the cost is two different things. A 4 pack of qb 120/132 kits for $99 on black Friday doesn’t seem unreasonable. That puts one on track for $250 U.S. light build. Wouldn’t be first person I walked through assembling and wiring rig like that. Not even the first from Canada lol.
If @kapouic is getting decent results with the two lights in the big tent, maybe adding this light will be the most affordable short term solution to better yields.