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Growing on a budget

Some background first :
1 : My girlfriend being handicapped by debilitating arthrosis can’t work anymore so I ended up being the sole provider for a family of four. I would do anything for them and that’s why I grow on a next to non-existing budget.
2 : Cannabis helped me get back to work after battling an 8 years addiction to heavy opioids (medication).
3 : So I need to get the best I can for the little money I have available (none!).

Finally, I am relatively good at carpenting and have the tools. Willing and able to do loads of DIY.

So I decided do finally dive in and create my first journal. Hopefully, with your help, those in the same situation as me will be able to avoid the pitfalls and hype of the big retailers.

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Here’s the materials I have (keep in mind I bought most of it before finding this forum) :crazy_face: :

I have 3 of these :

Advanced Nutrients : B-52, Sensi Cal-Mag Xtra, Big Bud, Flawless Finish, Bud Candy

A 16" rotating fan hanging upside down in a corner of the tent.

A spare 25W UV lamp I had for my bearded dragon, also hanging from the top.

A nylon net for scrog.

Bottom flaps of the tent open all the time.
Door of the tent : half open during lights on.

Tap water

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And here’s the pictures of my two Bruce Banner #3 clone that I took from flowering mother from my outdoor grow(from dr.seeds.net).

About 5 weeks old (last week) after a heavy training session.

And my control subject :

Same age.
I started feeding them last week with tap water, b-52, cal-mag and big bud. Twice a week.
Lights on 16 hrs, off 8 hrs…

Any suggestion, comments, advices, jokes are welcome.
Let’s see what I (with your help, hopefully) can do with these ladies.

Thanks in advance.

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Have you got any way to control or monitor your environment? Knowing that your plants are growing in the environment you want them to be in is important. Do you have a way to check pH? Test strips are a cheap, easy way to know what’s going on.
I think your setup is ready to crank out some good buds. I would look into a more high powered light to get you through flower. Then maybe a small tent to hold clones with this blurple light so you can keep growing without having to wait for seeds to grow.

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Sadly, nothing to monitor with yet.

But hey, I got a digital microscope…

First grow I attempted with that set-up, 2 plants and I ended with about half an ounce per plant. No training at all.
Second grow (found growersnetwork.org during flowering stage), I finished with around an ounce an a half per plant (2). Some supercropping and lst.

Now is my third go at it.
What saves me is my outdoor grows in the summer.

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First lesson learned : Lights
Don’t buy lights based only on reviews you read on amazon. You don’t know the particular set-up of each reviewer. Better do some research on forum dedicated to growers and don’t be afraid to ask questions. There’s always somebody nice that will answer. That way you get the real low-down and not just hyped-up stats. There are plenty of real competent growers here that will gladly help us. (and thanks to them, you know who you are…)

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I’ve used these with good luck. Easy to set and forget. Hook up one to an exhaust fan for heat, one to an exhaust fan for humidity and you can keep things pretty dialed in. They work great for a drying and curing tent/chamber too.


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You definitely don’t need to spend the money, but it sounds like you’re a busy guy. I like to have my garden set on autopilot as much as possible so I can keep up with the things that might be more deserving of my time and attention (I’ve got a busy family, too). A couple controllers and timers and a small pump means I only have to do any real “work” in the garden once a week. Other than a reservoir change on the weekends, I know my grow will keep truckin’.

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Are you able to grow outdoors? That is probably the easiest and cheapest way to start with a budget of zero.

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When watering do you let your water sit out for a day or two to de-chlorinate? Every time i water I fill up my buckets after with fresh tap water so all the chlorine can evaporate by the next time I need to water. It’s not nessecary but adding an air pump helps as well. If your in the US then hit up Craigslist. Check in the barter section or do searches and hit the people up and see if they want to trade anything. That’s how I got started.

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If you have carpentry skills, consider building a 2x4 or 4x4 box from some scraps/plywood. remember to put the filter and exhaust fan in the top I use a 4" carbon filter and a 4" duct booster by Yescom from Amazon. I have gone through experiments on many lights and have settled on a 600w full spectrum by Light time Tunnel at Amazon $71. Growing mediums are personal choice but peat based soils are least expensive and work well. I grow in grow bags. They seem to work well too. Step 2 is to grow and see what works best for you. Keep records so you are able to duplicate and improve your methods.

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Yes, during the summer I can grow 4 plants outside (for now… Quebec laws!). And they can’t get too high because I have nasty neighbors who calls the police on everybody for nothing. I kind of hide them in my vegetable garden. I get around a pound every fall, that last me through the long winter.

I started indoor growing to get more cannabis so I can try my hand with extracts. My girlfriend never smoked and can’t benefit from the curative properties of cannabis unless it’s edibles. I wanted to expand her options while learning new stuff.

So I bought a tent and a couple of lights while I had some spare cash but based my choices on reviews from Amazon. Having found this forum, I realized I went too fast because I was too eager to start. So I’m starting this thread to try and help other noobs from making the same mistake I did and save everybody lots of grief.

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Yes I do!
I prepare my water when I get back from work and feed my plants the next morning just before lights on.

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I have a couple of questions for you fellow growers :

1: When growing cannabis in a garden, is there certain vegetables that are bad neighbors for it?

2: When you prepare the water for feeding, is it recommended to mix in the nutrients and let sit overnight or do you have to use the water right away?

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I usually mix a batch for the week. Keep a lid on it to keep the light and air off the surface and it’ll be fairly stable. pH will sually will rise over the first 12 hours after initially lowering it.

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Here are my girls a week after agressively training one of them :

The trained one, I week after training :

and the control :

@hoppiefrog was right!! They can take a serious beating and spring back to life more beautiful. Thanks man!

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Now get in there and train that other one! Haha. Using the plants to fill out your canopy is the best way to make use of your space. If there’s no leaf or bud to catch the light you’re just trying to grow the tent floor.
To add to my other comment, you could keep a batch of mixed nutes for up to 2 weeks if they’re in something like a dark rubber maid.

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That’s the plan for this weekend!!
Thanks @devjyarn.

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Second lesson learned : Environment
Try to learn as much as possible on your growing environment and how to control it. Having some ways to monitor the temperature and humidity is a must for correct adjustments control.
Learn about VPD. @imSICKkid got great charts on it and I finally understood what it was by reading his posts…
Controlling the environments = Healthier plants, bigger yields, better flavor. Better intake of those expensive nutrients!

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Since i started growing vegetables i have a good eye for problems now. Since i started growing cannabis i can see issue’s real fast now.

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